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Council delays results

John Cameron | Thursday, February 7, 2013

Students submitted their ballots online Wednesday for student body president and vice president, but the results of this year’s race will not be made public until 9 a.m. today due to allegations of campaign rule violations, Judicial Council vice president of elections Katie Hennessy said.

In the past, election results have been released shortly after student voting closes at 8 p.m.

“We had decided a few days ago that we were going to wait until [Thursday] morning,” Hennessy said. “The way the Constitution reads is that people have until 11:59 p.m. [on election day] to submit allegations [of campaign misconduct].”

The Judicial Council, which is responsible for overseeing the fair processing of student government elections, did receive two allegations of rule violations regarding two different tickets Wednesday, Hennessy said. Per the Constitution, the specifics of allegations remain confidential to prevent swaying voters.

Hennessy said the allegations jeopardized the Council’s ability to release results promptly.

“Whenever allegations arise we have to hold them until they’re done, appeals and everything,” she said. “Neither ticket was found in violation, so the announcement will still be made at 9 a.m.”

While neither ticket was found to have broken campaign rules, Hennessy said she found enough merit in the allegations to bring the cases to the Council’s election committee.

“When we receive an allegation, it comes to me and I read through it and determine if it has merit and whether they should go to the election committee,” she said. “I decided they both had reason enough to be heard, so the election committee met this evening and heard the allegations.”

The Council contacted both tickets and invited the candidates to attend the hearing.

“The tickets always have the opportunity to come in and give their side of the story, and the election committee can ask them questions if anything is unclear,” she said.

Results will be released outside the Notre Dame Room of the LaFortune Student Center today at 9 a.m. Check The Observer online today at www.ndsmcobserver.com for election results.

If no ticket earned a majority in Wednesday’s election, the two tickets with the highest number of votes will compete in a run-off election. The candidates would participate in a debate Sunday night, with the final election to take place Monday.