In bizarre twist, Admin Caucus accuses AWDU of trying to steal the election

Things are out of control.  Daraka Larimore-Hall, the Admin Caucus/USEJ’s candidate for President (and the current President of UAW 2865), is now accusing AWDU of attempting to steal the election.  Given that his camp just certified an election without counting between a quarter and a third of the total votes cast, we’re at a loss for words.  Listen to some of these allegations.

An AWDU supporter at Berkeley was photographed opening and rummaging throughthe ballot box while polls were open.
As evidence, Larimore-Hall provides the following photograph:
This is their evidence?  We don’t even know where to start.  The guy is clearly assembling the ballot box before the polls have even opened.  Don’t believe us, Daraka?  If it’s the end of the day then why is the sun shining from the east?  Similarly, where is the 10-foot radius drawn in chalk around the polls that is visible in every other photo taken that day?  Seriously, this is desperate.
Likewise, Larimore-Hall accuses AWDU members down in LA of “hurl[ing] homophobic slurs at USEJ members” after the latter unilaterally refused to count the votes.  Really?  Not only could no witnesses recount to us this incident, but we find it hard to believe that an AWDU e-board slate that is seventy percent self-identifying queer would do such a thing.  Try again, Daraka.
AWDU has posted the following letter making some of these points:

Dear fellow graduate students and members of UAW Local 2865,

Our internal union Elections Committee has been conducting a vote count for a contentious election for the Local’s top elected leadership.  As the count proceeded, it appeared possible that our slate of reformers, Academic Workers for a Democratic Union would win the election.  At 8 pm Saturday night (April 30), the incumbent-controlled election committee abruptly decided to terminate the vote count without having counted more than 1,500 ballots — nearly half the ballots cast.

For the last two days, approximately 3,200 votes from this election were being counted at the UAW office at UCLA.  According to numerous observers in the room, it became increasingly apparent that Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU) was likely to win the Executive Board of our union, as well as a majority on the Joint Council.  At 5 PM on April 30 the chair of the Elections Committee, Travis Knowles of UCSD, took a three-hour break to caucus with USEJ candidate and incumbent Jorge Cabrera.  When Knowles returned, he announced that the Elections Committee would certify the counted ballots, adjourn, and leave the rest of the ballots uncounted.  This motion did not actually pass (only three of seven committee members were allowed to vote).  Even so, Knowles then fled the room–accompanied by the members of the Elections Committee who had consistently voted in the interests of the incumbent candidates. They left behind all of the ballots. They abandoned the election.

Knowles’s message was followed by a bizarre email from UAW President Daraka Larimore-Hall in which he accused AWDU of trying to steal the election he is currently in the process of stealing.  This email is a monument to indiscriminate falsehood.  He linked to a picture taken at Berkeley before polls opened (in which a poll worker was putting together the ballot box for that day’s vote–note the angle of the early morning sun from the East) as evidence for AWDU tampering.  He accused an AWDU candidate of using a “homophobic slur,” apparently hoping to elide the fact that seven out of ten AWDU candidates for Executive Board identify as gay or bisexual.

All but two of the Elections Committee members abandoned all of the election materials in the union’s Los Angeles conference room, including boxes of more than 1,500 uncounted ballots from UCLA and Berkeley union members.

UAW 2865 members at the office left all materials in the conference room exactly as the materials were when the Elections Committee abandoned the vote count.  They then locked the conference room to preserve the integrity of the ballots.  These ballots are still sealed within their voting boxes and within individual signed and sealed envelopes.  UAW 2865 members and reform activists are now at the LA office monitoring so that the ballots are not tampered with until they can be counted.

Members of AWDU are currently looking into all possible legal and administrative remedies.  By fleeing the ballot count the Elections Committee is both denying due process to hundreds of members and violating UAW 2865 bylaws that insist ballots be treated with far more circumspection.  We will be in touch soon to talk about what we can all do together to prevent this election from being stolen.

However, right now, we suggest you contact the following people and tell them you think the ballots ought to be counted and democracy maintained:

President Daraka Larimore-Hall

Vice President Jorge Cabrera

Financial Secretary Donna Fenton

Elections Committee Chair Travis Knowles

We need to stop business-as-usual at the UAW until they COUNT ALL THE VOTES.

If you are in the LA area, please come out and visit us.  The office
is at 900 Hilgard Ave at the corner of Le Conte near the UCLA campus.

For further analysis check out UC Rebel Radio.  To watch a livestream of the ballot boxes sitting on a table at UCLA, click here.


7 responses to “In bizarre twist, Admin Caucus accuses AWDU of trying to steal the election

  1. Point of clarification, UCLA + UCB votes account for nearly half of all votes cast. Depending on how many votes survive challenges, they will be about 1500 out of 3200 votes.

  2. we have another post about this, if you would like to link… 🙂

  3. Pingback: On the UAW Local 2865 recent election | UC Rebel Radio

  4. From the angle of the sun, we can determine the time of day it was taken pretty precisely. Assuming it was taken on April 28 (a day or so either side doesn’t matter much), you can get the azimuth angle of the sun for various times (c.f. but be careful with standard vs daylight time ). On that day, the sun would have been along the cracks in the bricks (Sproul Plaza is laid out 10 degrees West of North, so the cracks are pointing at 125 degrees, e.g. East of SouthEast) at 11:10AM PDT. From how it crosses the bricks, we can work out it was actually about 17 degrees east of that, or 108 degrees, which would have happened around 10:05AM PDT. Those angles are approximate without going out and measuring on-site, so I’d guess the photo could have been taken between 9:45 and 10:25AM.

  5. UCLA student

    @Physicist: That was an amazing post. Thanks for clearing that up.

  6. Pingback: THOSE WHO USE IT

  7. Pingback: Admin Caucus attempts to invalidate recent UAW 2865 election results | THOSE WHO USE IT

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