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20 February 2013

SG election results postponed till 5 p.m. Thursday

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SGA presidential candidate, junior Bhumi Patel, speaks with her fellow "Power of U" ticket supporters after the elections commission announced the results for president, vice president, and treasurer would be postponed due to allegations against both tickets. "One of U" was not present at the senate reveal. Cayla NImmo // Photo Editor

Student Government presidential candidate, junior Bhumi Patel, speaks with her fellow Power of U ticket and their supporters after Elections Commissioner Joey Barletto announced the results for president, vice president and treasurer would be postponed due to election code violations against both tickets. One of U did not have a visible presence at the announcement. Cayla Nimmo // Photo Editor

As Student Government (SG) Elections Commissioner J. Alexander Barletto ascended the Rock Wednesday evening, students who were eagerly awaiting the results of SG’s new president, vice president and treasurer were disappointed when the announcement was delayed due to election code violations.

Claims were filed against both the Power of U and One of U tickets, Barletto said.

The two trials, held Wednesday at 9:15 p.m. in UC 211, were closed to the public due to the sensitivity of the issues and the involvement of the Dean of Students Office (DOSO), according to SG Chief Justice Sean Norris.

The first trial investigated allegations against Power of U’s graphic campaigning codes, Norris said.

“An individual student came to Elections Commission and said that they had received … a mass email from someone supporting [Power of U],” he said.

According to Section 5-1.4 of the SG’s Election Codes, all graphic campaigning materials, including emails sent over listservs, must be approved by the Elections Commission. The aforementioned email was not.

After deliberation, the Trial Court can allocate up to 20 points per violation based on the severity of each infraction. The accumulation of 20 or more points will result in the immediate disqualification of a ticket. Any points allocated to individual candidates within or associated with a ticket will be charged to the ticket as a whole.

Although the person who sent the email is not a member of the campaign, Associate Chief Justice Scott “Skip” McClinton decreed that the Power of U ticket would be inflicted with five points.

Following their trial, Power of U released a statement saying they are, “confident in the election process and … are eager to hear the results of the election.”

The second trial involved the DOSO regarding a violation of the Student Code of Conduct by a supporter of One of U, Norris said.

Due to the sensitivity regarding the individuals involved in the violation, details of the case are not being released to the public as is policy of the DOSO.

Thursday afternoon, Norris wrote in an email to the Hurricane, “We (the Court) are waiting to hear back from DOSO regarding the discipline charge, but regardless of their decision, the Court does not plan on disqualifying either ticket.”

According to the Elections Code, “Any University of Miami student may bring notice of any Elections Code violation to the attention of the Elections Commission up until one hour after the polls close on the last voting day.”

Additionally, each infraction must be reported within 48 hours of the incident.

Both violations were reported Wednesday.

Once a formal request for review has been filed by a UM student, the Elections Commission will review the plausibility of the claim, Barletto said.

If there is probable cause for the allegation, they then send the claim to the Court, where it is then taken to trial.

If both tickets are disqualified, the remaining write-in candidates with the most votes will be offered the respective positions.

In order for a candidate to win their position, they must secure 51 percent of their votes.

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, 1,896 students had voted, thus 949 votes are needed to win a position.

With the conclusion of both trials, the SG executive board results will be announced at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Rock.