The pros and cons of ASB’s new proposed voting procedures


Talon Staff

ASB proposed new voting procedures—here’s what The Talon thinks.

Los Altos High School’s Associated Student Body (ASB) proposed an amendment changing how class council and ASB leadership positions are elected for subsequent years. The Talon evaluated the amendment and compiled a list of pros and cons as well as a brief overview.

An overview of the amendment:

Election procedures for ASB President and Vice President:

ASB proposed a more student-centered vote breakdown for the election of ASB President and Vice President.

In the previous procedure, the ASB advisory panel had 50 votes, the ASB class had 33 votes and the student body had one vote each.

However, the amendment proposes that 10 percent of the vote will come from the ASB advisory panel, consisting of ASB adviser and Assistant Principal Nicolas Betancur, ASB Administrative Assistant Jeanine Seagraves and School Bookkeeper Gina Brownson, as well as two additional members from LAHS staff that differ every election. The ASB class will get 25 percent of the vote, and the students in grades 9–11 will make up 65 percent of the vote.

The ballots will be cast using rank-choice voting, so that the candidate elected has the majority of votes. If no candidate has over 50 percent of the votes, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated and their votes will be redistributed to the rest of the candidates in the running until a majority is reached. Any student who wishes to run for either position must have at least one year of experience in ASB.

The ASB advisory council and class have weighted votes in these elections because the elected ASB President and Vice President will lead the ASB class. They know the candidates best, which made it important to the class that they had some additional weight, according to ASB member and senior class president Rodrigo Sepulveda-Sagesta.

Election procedures for ASB Treasurer, Secretary and Activities Commissioner:

ASB eliminated any ASB weighted votes for the ASB Treasurer, Secretary and Activities Commissioner election. Only students in grades 9–11 will be able to vote in the election, and each student’s vote counts equally. Rank choice voting will remain the same. ASB now requires one year of leadership experience for students running for these positions.

Election procedures for all Class Council positions:

Similar to the ASB Treasurer, Secretary and Activities Commissioner elections, there is no ASB weight in votes for class council positions, and rank choice voting will remain the same. Students running for junior or senior President and Vice President must have one year of leadership experience.

The Talon’s Pros and Cons


  • The amendment amplifies the voice of the student body which will hopefully encourage more students to vote. With more participation, we’ll start to see a student government that reflects the diversity in background and experiences of the student body.
  • The amendment uses weighted votes wisely. It’s a good idea that the people who work the closest with ASB leadership should have more of a say in the decision on who fills the roles.
  • The amendment’s emphasis on rank-choice voting makes it so that the majority of students on campus are appeased by the decision.
  • The amendment’s requirement for simply one year of leadership experience for class council and ASB Treasurer, Secretary and Activities Commissioner will allow for more diversity in the applicants who apply.


  • The amendment proposes a percentage system where each “group” has a certain percentage weight. If only a small population of the student body votes, then this percentage system will make it so that the outcomes of the election aren’t an accurate representation of the student body’s choices.