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Student Senate Elections: Former candidate calls election board ‘unquestionably incompetent’
Although Student Senate elections have ended, controversy surrounding the two parties’ campaign strategies continues to flare up.
FACE’s presidential candidate Matthew Wallace sent an email to Board of Elections Chairman Chauncey Jackson and Dean of Students Ryan Lombardi this weekend, accusing Jackson of being “unquestionably incompetent.” The board refused to fine RSVP for online comments made by its candidates and supporters, said Wallace, who lost to President-elect and RSVP party leader Kyle Triplett Thursday.
Wallace cited a comment made by At-Large Senator-elect Shawn Silvis that referred to Wallace as a “jackass.”
However, Jackson said the board had previously ruled that a line in FACE’s platform referring to current senators as “ass-kissers” was not in violation of the rules. The board applied that precedent to FACE’s complaint, he said.
“That’s just another example of us being consistent across that board,” Jackson said. “I think this board has worked really hard to make sure this election was fair and that the rules were applied fairly across the board.”
In an email response Sunday, Lombardi questioned the tone of Wallace’s message.
“I would also like to discuss with you the inappropriate tone at the end of your message, in which you appear to threaten a fellow student through the use of a media forum,” he wrote.
Wallace had stated that “while I'm not sure about The Post, I guarantee that The New Political is more than willing to write an article or two about the unprofessional bias of (Jackson's Board of Elections) that will be easily accessible from every Google search of “Chauncey Jackson Ohio University” which a potential employer might undertake.”
Current Senate President Jesse Neader said the message was unprofessional.
“Now, he’s going to the Dean of Students’ office to be talked to about cyberbullying,” Neader said.
Lombardi plans to speak with Wallace today.
“I want to have a better understanding of why he feels there is bias in the part of the (Board of Elections),” Lombardi said in an email yesterday. “I can tell you that from what I witnessed in their deliberations and conversations that I do not believe this existed.”
After the Board of Elections fined FACE $225 for negative campaigning earlier this month, Wallace argued that RSVP should have been fined $225 for each of its supporters’ comments, including one person called who called Wallace “sad and embarrassing.”
Unless Wallace chooses to file an appeal, his complaints will go unanswered by elections officials, Jackson said.
“That’s what the appeals process is for,” he added.
Neader, chairman of senate’s election appeals committee, said Wallace’s case could have a chance.
“I don’t know why he hasn’t (appealed),” he added. “I certainly think there’s some merit.”
The complaints and negative campaigning during this election period spawned from a fundamental misunderstanding of the rules, Neader said.
“It all started with some name-calling,” he said. “It very much was the candidates. They perpetuated it.”
Next year, Neader recommends an application fee for potential candidates.
Wallace was unavailable for comment.