The IU Student Association Supreme Court ruled Wednesday night to deny three of four appeals to Election Commission decisions filed last weekend.
Two of the three denied appeals were filed by Engage with IUSA in response to the commission’s decision to assess no penalties on complaints 1,2 and 24, which were filed against Empower IU. While Engage’s petitions were filed within the specified time and format, the decisions referenced the court’s right to deny appeals that do not prove error, abuse of discretion or bias on the part of the Election Commission.
Complaints 1 and 2 pertained to an order for promotional lighters that Empower cancelled because it would arrive in time for the actual election. Complaint 24 claimed Empower’s use of Thunderclap, a service used to quantify social impressions, constituted voter fraud. Similar to the reason why the complaint was initially denied, the court ruled electronic transmission of the voting link did not fit the revised definition of polling station creation.
The third petition, filed by Focus for IUSA in response to five complaints filed against the ticket, was filed past the April 1 appeal deadline set by the court and did not request specific action on the part of the court. The election commission docked almost 34-percent of Focus’ votes based on these complaints.
“Although the appeals were denied, they did raise more awareness about the election code and gave us a platform to show some of the sections that needed changed,” Focus presidential candidate junior Brandon Sakbun said Thursday in a statement to the Indiana Daily Student. “At the end of the day the election is finally wrapping up, and hopefully IUSA sets forth down a new path, one of change.”
The fourth appeal filed by Engage is pending discussion with the Student Life and Learning office, which oversees IUSA. The appeal claimed extrapolation by the commission on a single-sentence decision by SLL that designated IUSA, and all tickets within it, a university student organization, which Engage claimed did not absolve the ticket from IU trademarking policy.
Empower will wait to hear the final decision before commenting on the election outcome. The commission did not specify when the ruling will be issued or published, but will also wait before issuing an official statement.
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The IU Student Association's Election Commission ruled to disqualify IGNITE, and docked Focus' votes by almost 34 percent, leaving it in third place.