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Help Stop the Lies & Misrepresentations: Your Testimony

posted May 4, 2011 5:16 PM by United for Social and Economic Justice [ updated May 5, 2011 10:28 AM ]

Ever since the ballot count in the current election was temporarily
suspended, a number of our supporters – and candidates – have expressed
concern over the impact of the current election controversies on the
strength of the union.

I’m concerned too.

This was not the first contested election in our union’s history, and it
won’t be the last.  That said, the level of vitriol, personal attacks and
outright lying is unprecedented – and it needs to stop.

We’ve received a number of responses to our email yesterday calling on
members to help in our campaign to get AWDU to STOP their tactics of lying
about USEJ candidates and intimidating election volunteers.  A member from
UC Berkeley wrote in to say:

“I was also told by a man supporting the other slate that Daraka Larimore
was not a student, earning big $ and out of touch with GSIs.  This guy was
handing out fliers for the slate a few feet from the voting table and I saw
him harass another student who said he had not voted.  This doesn't seem
like OK election day activity!”

Another from UCLA

“When I approached the voting table, a man started calling out to me,
asking if I was a graduate student.  He tried to give me a flier and
convince me to vote in for the AWDU.  I refused the flier and tried to
ignore him since I came to the polls knowing that I wished to vote for the
opposing slate.  However, I felt quite intimidated by his close proximity to
the table and rather aggressive demeanor.  After, I finished voting, he
loudly asked me what department I am from.  This felt intrusive as I had
made it clear that I was not voting for his party.

"Although this man's behavior did not alter my voting decision, I felt very
uncomfortable during this voting experience and am concerned that other
students who may have come to the polls without having made a solid decision
on their candidates may have felt intimidated into altering their voting
choices."

What happened to you during the election?  Please keep sharing your stories
with us: [email protected]  The more complete our picture
about what exactly happened during the election, the better our position to
help make sure appropriate safeguards are in place for future elections.

Solidarity,

Daraka Larimore-Hall
President, UAW 2865
Candidate, United for Social & Economic Justice