North Texas Daily

Appeal to UNT Supreme Court delays SGA election results

Appeal to UNT Supreme Court delays SGA election results

April 17
11:26 2013

Joshua Friemel / Managing Editor

Student Government Association election results have been delayed again after an appeal was submitted to the UNT Supreme Court before the 3 p.m. deadline yesterday.

The results from the runoff election from last Wednesday to Friday were initially supposed to be released on Monday, but a meeting was held between the Election Board and both running parties discussing possible voting violations.

Since the meeting, both parties had until 3 p.m. yesterday to file an appeal to the UNT Supreme Court.

Communication studies junior Jake Dionne, who is running as vice president with sociology junior Precious Femi-Ogunyemi, filed the appeal regarding the Election Board’s ruling that opponent pre-political science sophomore Zachary Brown didn’t violate voting rules.

In the Dionne v. Election Board brief, Dionne said, “Zach Brown was having people vote on his laptop at Willis Library.” Dionne said that the Election Board told him and Femi-Ogunyemi that Willis Library was neutral ground during an election code meeting on March 26.

The PowerPoint from the March meeting stated that, “The Student Government Association office and Willis Library are neutral ground and any materials that are campaign related may not be stored or displayed in the office or library during elections.”

The brief said the Election Board “admit[s] that this runoff election was plagued with inconsistencies” and it did not “believe Zach [Brown] intentionally violated the election code.”

Melissa McGuire, SGA advisor, said the UNT Supreme Court has to meet within 72 hours after the appeal was filed.

“Whenever they come up with their decision, it would be 24 hours after that decision is made that the election results would become official,” she said.

She also said results could be held even longer if the appeal goes all the way to the UNT Senate.

Dionne said he hopes the appeal leads to a second election.

“It is unfair that the bylaws were not followed and that miscommunication could have altered the outcome of the election,” he said. “Since Zach was allowed to be in Willis Library, we should be allowed to be in Willis Library. That is a key battleground zone.”

Brown and current vice president Justin Wood could not be reached for comment.

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