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SGA presidential, vice presidential election results withheld due to complaints

SGA presidential, vice presidential election results withheld due to complaints

April 13
19:23 2018

The results for the Student Government Association (SGA) presidential and vice presidential election are being withheld pending an SGA Supreme Court case, according to the SGA Spring 2018 Election Report.

Five formal complaints were submitted between April 5 and 12 against both running teams: Misaki Collins and Ipinowula “Ipi” Adedokun, and Muhammad Kara and Dominique Thomas. Formal hearings have been held for all complaints.

Students also passed a referendum with 88 percent of the vote to authorize SGA to update its constitution to include gender-inclusive language. The total number of votes cast was 1,883.

Use of SGA’s logo on campaign materials

The first complaint was submitted against Collins and Adedokun on April 5 by Stephon Bradberry, who is campaigning for Kara and Thomas. The Election Board unanimously decided no bylaws were violated.

Bradberry’s complaint said Collins and Adedokun violated SGA bylaws by using the SGA logo for their campaign materials.

The Election Board’s decision said no bylaws were violated since they “did not create or fund any campaign materials” for Collins and Adedokun at a formal hearing April 7.

Publicizing campaigns before set dates

The second complaint was submitted against Thomas by Adedokun on April 8. The formal hearing was held April 10. The Election Board unanimously decided Thomas violated the bylaws. They decided 2-1 that the “violation did not alter the outcome of [the] election.”

Adedokun said Thomas violated the General Campaign Rules in the bylaws, which states candidates “may only begin publicizing their campaigns after the Election Code meeting has been satisfied and on the date set forth by the Election Calendar.”

The bylaw also states candidates can be disqualified if they publicize their campaigns before the set date.

At the hearing, Adedokun said he received an email on April 2 that said Kara and Thomas began campaigning before their Election Code meeting and before campaigning officially began on April 3 through GroupMe messages.

Thomas said she and Kara believed campaigning began March 19 and then they found out the dates changed. She said they have emails to prove this.

According to the report, Thomas sent a GroupMe message at 1:29 p.m. March 18.

Accuracy of campaign materials

The third complaint was submitted by SGA Outreach Director Paige Sennet on April 11 against Collins and Adedokun. The Election Board unanimously decided no bylaws were violated and decided they could not campaign on April 12 from 12 to 5 p.m.

The complaint said Collins and Adedokun violated Item F in General Campaign Rules that states candidates “shall assume responsibility for the accuracy and truthfulness of their statements and campaign materials.”

Sennet said she believed the bylaw was violated because of the words “our petition” in an email sent out by Collins. Sennet said the phrasing made it sound like Collins and Adedokun “began campaigning” before campaigning officially began.

Collins said she was referring to the 1,050 people who signed the petition when she said “our petition,” not to her and Adedokun.

Disrupting opposition tabling

Tangela Jones, who is campaigning for Collins and Adedokun, submitted a complaint against Bryson Badon, senator for the Mayborn School of Journalism, who is campaigning for Kara and Thomas.

The Election Board decided to dock 100 votes from Kara and Thomas’s ticket due to two bylaw violations. They also decided their violations altered the election outcome.

The complaint was made regarding tabling for candidates. Jones said Badon walked up in front of Collins and Adedokun’s table and were encouraging people to vote for Kara and Thomas.

Kara said there is nothing in the bylaws or Election Code PowerPoint that prohibits this. He also said he does not believe the picture he saw of Badon “just at the edge of the table not walking around” shows Badon “was walking around the area.”

Collins said there “has always been a rule where you stand behind the table, so you do not disrupt people.”

Tabling times and poster size

Adedokun submitted a formal complaint against Bradberry for tabling in front of the Pohl Recreation Center. The Election Board unanimously decided that no bylaws were violated.

Collins and Adedokun said they submitted paperwork to table at the recreation center while the other team did not.

Bradberry said they knew “it was wrong of [them] to stay past the [tabling time].” Collins and Adedokun’s campaign table arrived while Bradberry was tabling. He also said “[they] were respectful when [they] found out about the issue and left.”

Adedokun’s complaint also said Kara and Thomas’ campaign violated bylaw regarding poster sizes. Posters cannot be bigger than 18-by-24 inches. The Election Board dismissed this because Kara and Thomas’ poster was 17½-by-23½ inches.

About Author

Zaira Perez

Zaira Perez

Senior News Writer

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