April 29, 2015

BREAKING: SG election delayed for investigation of slate candidates

Editor's note: This is a developing story and the article will be updated as more information becomes available. Last updated on Thursday,  April 30 at 12:00 PM.

The Elections and Rules Committee (E&R) has delayed Student Government elections by one day to investigate allegations against slates that could result in disqualification. Polls will now open on Thursday morning and continue through Friday afternoon.

According to a source familiar with the matter, Open Minds is under investigation for an alleged recording. The incident in question concerns a conversation that allegedly took place on March 4th between two current members of College Council about joining a slate to run for Student Government. According to the April 27th E&R meeting minutes, the “respondent allegedly recorded the complainant on an iPhone as the complainant was talking about slate issues,” without the complainant's knowledge or consent. This action violates election bylaws and would be grounds for disqualification if verified.

As of press time, United Progress, One Slate, and the Very Good Slate all stated that, to their knowledge, they are not under investigation. Open Minds told The Maroon, "It is our understanding that at the moment there are several slates with complaints filed against them. For any E&R case, the maximum penalty is disqualification."

Steven Wendeborn, chair of the Election and Rules Committee (E&R) stated "We regret the need to delay the start of scheduled elections, but due to the number of slates with complaints pending against them, and the possibility for disqualification in any of these cases, we postponed the start in order to not disenfranchise those voters who may participate in Wednesday only to have the slate for whom they have voted be removed later."

An e-mailed statement from Wendeborn stated, “E&R has determined that if a candidate or slate is disqualified during the course of voting, all members of the student body who had voted for that candidate or slate would not have the opportunity to re-cast their vote,” Wendeborn wrote. “We believe, in light of the number of pending cases, that this constitutes a concrete possibility of disenfranchisement. Therefore, E&R has decided that all currently pending complaints that carry the possibility of disqualification, however slight, must be decided prior to the availability of ballots to the student body.”

The E&R Committee is expected to release a final decision on the potential disqualification of slates sometime on Wednesday night.

Update: The complaint regarding alleged recordings by Open Minds has been withdrawn. Other issues have been resolved without major penalties.