Three campaign violations have already been filed in the first 24 hours of Student Government elections. With thirteen executive candidates, this elections season could see more violations than last year.
"We had our mandatory candidate meeting last night and I tried to tell them as clearly as I could that campaign violations should really be kind of a last resort," Elections Commissioner Erin Brown said.
Through releasing hearing verdicts, Brown said she'll set a standard for what should and shouldn't be reported as a violation. Many issues that end up being filed as campaign violations could instead be settled between candidates, she said.
This year, the commission is using a system of points from 1-10 to score violations. If any candidate reaches 10 cumulative points, the candidate will be removed from the race.
The Wednesday evening hearing outlined the claims filed against the candidates:
— A form claiming a violation by treasurer candidate Wilfredo Anderson of code 4-3-50 for posting fliers on the second floor of the Jones Physical Sciences building
— A form claiming a violation by vice presidential candidate Nick Hooks of code 4-3-50 for posting fliers on the second floor of the Jones Physical Sciences building
— A form claiming a violation of speaker of the senate candidate Patrick Ellis of 4-3-50 for using six university logos in his campaign video
"The Elections Commission has reached a decision in response to the election complaint filed on February 14, 2018 against Lee Patrick Ellis, candidate for speaker of the Student Senate," Elections Commissioner Erin Brown said in an email. "The incident referenced in this election complaint, alleging violation of Code 4-3-50 Subsection B(6), does not constitute a violation of the Codes. No points have been assigned against the Ellis campaign."
Brown also said that the Elections Commission will release a report detailing the reasoning behind their decision within two business days.