Raiders United Disqualified

Update (9:00 p.m., 3/6) – After speaking with Raiders United representative Sean Buckley, the charges against Luke Cotton, Jill Berger, and Logan Dickenson are clarified here. Luke Cotton and Jill Berger were found guilty of “spamming” per Election Code 6.08 only. Logan Dickenson alone was found guilty of “spamming” per Election Code 6.08, as well as Code 7.31 when he asked for eRaider information from other students. Cotton and Berger were not found guilty of this violation. Furthermore, none of the candidates were found to be guilty of incentivizing voting with candy, claiming false endorsements, or using current office to campaign.

Update (10:55 a.m.) – After communicating with Chairman Schniers and receiving an updated copy of the opinion, the last paragraph of the rendered opinion has been changed to reflect clarifications.

Raiders United candidates Luke Cotton, Jill Berger, and Logan Dickenson were declared disqualified by the Election Commission this morning for violating the SGA’s Election Code.

The decision handed down mere hours after the hearing itself finds Raiders United not guilty of incentivizing voters with stickers, claiming false endorsements, and using current office to campaign,

However, all three candidates were found guilty of “spamming” University Fountains residents with e-mails asking them to vote and guilty of offering reward/incentive by asking for eRaider information to vote on other students’ behalf.

A new election will start March 18, with voting to run March 20-21. This new election will have stricter forms of campaigning allowed, including a $50 maximum expenditure limit and only one form of social media allowed.

The following is a direct copy of the election commission’s decision, handed down by Bradley Schniers, Chairman.

A complaint was filed by Mr. Stovall, Ms. Weeks, Mr. Craig, and Mr. Yates (here forward to be referred to as “Bridge the Gap”) stating Mr. Cotton, Ms. Berger, and Mr. Dickenson (here forward to be referred to as “Raiders United”) violated Sections 6.08, 6.12, 6.20, 7.18, 7.31 of the Election code when there was a mass email sent to the residents of University Fountains, when claiming endorsements from University Fountains and the Goin’ Band, when Alpha Phi posted on the “Chilifest” Facebook event page, when Evan Johnson posted on the “Tequila Jungle” Facebook event page, when Jill Berger went into detail about her current role in SGA at the Candidate Debate, when “I Voted Raiders United” stickers circulated, and when Logan Dickenson posted on Facebook encouraging students to post e-raider login information to vote.

These claims were investigated by the Election Commission and the Commission came to a consensus on the claims at hand. The Commission could not ascertain a violation of the Election Code Sections 6.12, 6.20 or 7.18 with the evidence that was provided. The Election Commission ascertained that as per the Election Code Sections 6.12, the candidates in question did not use a current position in SGA to campaign. Also, Raiders United did not violate Section 6.20 by claiming endorsements by University Fountains or by the Goin’ Band, nor by posting on the Facebook events pages. Additionally, Section 7.18 was not violated by giving out stickers to vote; it was determined that stickers were not a suitable “incentive” for voting.

However, it is the ruling of the Election Commission that Sections 6.08 and 7.31 were violated in this election. Section 6.08 was violated when the Raiders United team, whether in person or through a third party, sent a mass email to the residents of University Fountains with the purpose of getting them to vote. Section 7.31 was also violated when Logan Dickenson posted on Facebook encouraging students to post e-raider login information to vote.

It is the advisory opinion of the Election Commission that all of the Executive Candidates for the Raiders United team be disqualified from this election. With a pending allegation from Student Code of Conduct concerning the Section 7.31 violation, Logan Dickenson is not in good judicial standing with SGA and is ineligible to participate in SGA elections. However, Jill Berger and Luke Cotton are free to run for election again.

Since this leaves no candidate able to take office for the executive positions (candidates need a majority vote for executive office), a new election will commence March 18th for those offices. Voting in the new election will take place March 20th and 21st. Concerning these elections for executive office, the elections are open to any student wishing to participate who ran in the most recent SGA Executive Candidate elections, there is a $50 maximum allowed to be spent on campaign materials, only one form of Social Media shall be used (e.g. one Facebook page, one Twitter account, not both), and no other form of electronic campaigning will be allowed. The results from this election will be announced March 22nd. There is a moratorium on campaigning for the new executive position elections until Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Any candidates running for election to an executive position in this upcoming election found to be in violation of any of these terms are subject to disqualification.

About Anthony Hall
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