During Wednesday nights student senate meeting senators were urged by a concerned student to seek a ruling from the Supreme Court.
The students concerns regarded the voting procedures practiced at the College of Law precinct during the Spring 2016 election, with special regards the to Student Government Association President and Vice President race.
SGA Presidential candidate Victor Chrispin and running mate Vice Presidential candidate Pernell Mitchell wrote memorandums requesting that the Supreme Court hear their trial with the evidence provided per the student statutes.
“My issue wasn’t the results, my issue was just the integrity of the election,” Chrispin said
The law school’s votes were the determining factor; Chrispin and Mitchell had seven votes from the law school to Bruno and Harrison’s 156 votes.
In total, Chrispin and Mitchell’s votes came out to be 1,217. Bruno and Harrison’s votes came out to be 1,366. Without the College of Law, Bruno’s ticket beats Chrispin’s by three votes on the main campus.
Electoral Commissioner (EC) Anthony Cooper and Elections and Appointments chair Jaylen Smith also wrote a memorandum to the Supreme Court in regards to the election scandal.
The law school had no precinct supervisor or representation from an official member of the EC during voting exercises.
Voter data was also collected incorrectly which is against student statutes.
Chrispin, Mitchell and the EC are seeking a special election or re-vote of the College of Law as well as the main campus.
Chief Justice of the student Supreme Court Tawn Tyba-Takeli called all necessary parties for a pre-trial hearing Friday afternoon in the Embassy Room on campus.
Supreme Court council asked the EC what the significance of including the main campus in the re-election process was, since their evidence only shows foul play at the law school.
Cooper said the EC should be fair and just.
“The Electoral Commissions’ mission is to be just and fair, so to be just and fair I think that goes across the board at all campus precincts and not just one precinct … this also eliminates the chances of another ticket saying they won on this campus so they should be pronounced the winner,” Cooper said.
Olabimpe Olayiwola, deputy Electoral Commissioner, explained that it technically wouldn’t be a new election if we used old votes from the main campus’s initial election.
Takeli asked Cooper how the voting at the law school precinct directly affected the overall integrity of the race?
Cooper expressed that he couldn’t exactly say that it affected the overall integrity of the race because that would be calling someone fraudulent and that is not in this case.
However the on the voter roll that was sent back to the EC, signatures were not used; instead there were X’s and check marks next to names.
Funding an entirely new election, the precinct officer’s salaries for another campus-wide election and budgeting to send proper representation to the law school are factors that could cause the EC to deny the claim, or opt for a re-election of only the tampered precinct since student body statutes don’t specifically rule against it.
A re-election of the main campus could pose severe backlash from the student body.
Current SGA President-elect Justin Bruno said the concerns should be addressed with the law school.
“I don’t think its fair to the students… also if there concerns are at the law school I think they need to be more extensively addressed with the law school,” Bruno said. “If they are accusing someone of doing something or saying that something happened there should be some attempt to figure that out before moving on to a new election.”
If the EC agrees to a new campus-wide election, they would eliminate the declaration of candidacy and the candidates debate from the week shortening the campaign exercises.
A final verdict from the General Council is expected within 10 days. Check back for more updates.