Campaign infractions delay results
Megan Doyle | Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Students cast their votes Monday for student body president and vice president, but they will not learn the results of the election until later in the week due to an alleged rule violated by one of the candidates.
The results of Monday’s election will not be released until the Student Union completes its review of the allegation, Michael Thomas, vice president of elections for Judicial Council, said.
“The election results will be announced as soon as the allegation process is complete,” Thomas said. “We are working to get that process done as soon as possible.”
The Student Body Constitution mandates all information about allegations must remain confidential until the entire process of reviews and appeals in complete, Thomas said.
The name of the candidates in question, the type of allegation and the nature of the sanction will not be released at this time.
Thomas said the information is confidential so the election results do not sway anyone involved in the allegation and appeal processes.
When an allegation is made against a candidate in the student body elections, it is brought before the Election Committee for review. The Election Committee met Monday evening to discuss the allegation against the candidate. The committee decided the ticket was in violation of the constitution and would receive a sanction, Thomas said. The candidates on the ticket then appealed the committee’s decision.
“The Student Senate will have 48 hours from the time of the filing of the appeal to convene to hear the appeal,” Thomas said.
The senators will first vote to decide to hear the appeal after brief presentations from Judicial Council and the candidate in question.
“This basically works like a screening process,” Thomas said. “They decide if the appeal is legitimate.”
If the Senate votes to hear the appeal, the ticket can call witnesses before the Senate and must answer questions about the allegation.
After reviewing the appeal, the senators will make a final decision.
“The senators can make one of two decisions,” Thomas said. “They can vote to uphold the original decision of the election committee, or they can choose to force the Election Committee to reconvene within 24 hours for the purpose of reconsidering the allegation.”
After the steps of this process are complete, the Judicial Council will release the election results.
The constitution requires a ticket to earn 50 percent of the vote to win the election, and with five teams on the ballot, Thomas said a runoff election is likely between the two tickets to earn the greatest number of votes.
Details about a runoff election would be arranged after the results of Monday’s election are released.