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Appeals fail to save 8 FACE office seekers
A committee of Ohio University Student Senate members upheld the Board of Elections’ decision to disqualify eight FACE party members.
Nine total FACE candidates and three members of RSVP’s ticket were disqualified last week because of mistakes on their applications or for judicial reasons. Eight of the ineligible candidates filed appeals so far, said Elections Special Appeals Committee Chairman and Student Senate President Jesse Neader.
FACE’s presidential candidate Matthew Wallace said he is “disappointed” by the decision.
“I don’t like the ruling, but I know they’re fair people,” he said.
A ninth FACE appeal was submitted after the committee had its first meeting Monday night, Wallace said, adding that he expects a similar outcome.
The committee will meet again today to rule on three final appeals. RSVP treasurer candidate Chris Wimsatt said two of his party’s three ineligible candidates plan to appeal their disqualifications.
FACE’s written appeals asked the committee to examine whether the board properly interpreted and applied its rules in four areas: judicial offenses, misreported GPAs, duplicate signatures and the election time period. So far, the committee has upheld all the board’s actions, Neader said.
Those appeals argued that the Board of Elections was negligent in its management of the application process because of confusion about the length of the campaign period. Last year’s Student Senate tried to shorten the campaign season from 30 days to 22, but inconsistencies in the resolution led the Board of Elections to deny the change.
The FACE candidates who were disqualified for reporting inaccurate GPAs argued that the Board of Elections was unclear about which GPA figure they should report.
However, the appeals committee found that Board of Elections Chairman Chauncey Jackson was specific enough. Candidates should have reported their cumulative GPA as of the application due date, Neader said.
“They shouldn’t have had back-dated GPAs. They should have known that,” he said.
Candidates were also disqualified for having duplicate signatures on their petitions. Executive candidates needed 75 signatures, and other candidates needed 25 to be eligible. The committee again found the board fairly applied the rules, Neader said.
“We ruled that the intent of the rules was that there were 25 individual signatures, not 23 and two duplicates,” he said.
The committee also upheld the Board of Elections’ decision to make candidates with Class A offenses to the OU Code of Conduct ineligible. This affirmed the disqualification of four FACE candidates.
“We found that the board was point on,” Neader said.
If the appeals committee also chooses to deny RSVP’s appeals, the campaign will be left without a candidate for fine arts senator, because both RSVP candidate Emma Hein and FACE candidate Alayna Moreman were disqualified.
A ticket is not allowed to replace a disqualified candidate.
“There’s a lot of flaws in the system,” Wallace said. “… This is going to leave an entire constituency without immediate representation.”