The Engage with IUSA and Focus for IUSA tickets filed four appeals to IU Student Association Election Commission rulings over the weekend, though Engage's three petitions were the only appeals which the Student Body Supreme Court ruled were properly formatted.
Members of Engage filed the ticket's three appeals on Saturday and Focus filed its appeal on Sunday.
Engage’s first petition appealed the commission’s ruling on complaints one and two, filed by Focus against Empower IU. The original complaints alleged Empower violated campaign finance rules by not reporting an order for customized lighters on its final financial statement. The order was reported on the intermediary financial statement but Empower said it canceled the order before the election because it would arrive too late. Engage’s appeal claims Empower did not provide sufficient evidence of order cancellation occurring before the election.
The other two appeals pertain to decisions on complaints 21 and 24, filed by Engage, also against the Empower ticket. Complaint 21 pertained to IU trademark regulations. While the commission determined that a March 23 Student Life and Learning ruling about IUSA’s designation as a University Student Organization absolved the ticket from violating SLL’s policy, Engage maintains in its appeal that this did not grant them an exemption from trademark policy handled by a different office.
Complaint 24 involved Empower’s use of Thunderclap, a service used to boost social media impact. The Election Commission ruled in an eight-to-zero vote that Empower did not violate voter fraud rules based off an advisory opinion it issued Feb. 13 which permitted distribution of the voting link as long as it did not fit the commission definition of voter intimidation, outlined in Title VI of the procedural election code. Engage claims in its appeal that the commission misunderstood how the technology was used.
Focus’ petition appeals the commission’s rulings on all five complaints filed against the ticket. In the appeal, the ticket’s presidential candidate Brandon Sakbun, a junior, said he commended the commission for its intent, however, he took issue with the fact that forgetting the address and phone number of some vendors, along with submitting receipts for their timely filed financial statements a few days after the fact resulted in three 10 percent vote deductions because they did not influence the opinion of voters.
Additionally, Sakbun appealed decisions on complaints 19 and 23, which dealt with an outside organization’s promotion of the ticket and the taping of campaign signs on sidewalks, respectively. In the appeal, Sakbun said he had no control of the outside organization’s endorsement, which the commission counted as an expenditure. He also said that in past elections, campaigns taped signs to sidewalks in multiple locations.
The IUSA Supreme Court is expected to issue rulings on the appeals by 11 p.m. Wednesday.
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IU Student Association president-elect Dan Niersbach weighed in on Empower IU's victory in last month's elections.
The IUSA Supreme Court came to a ruling Tuesday.
The IU Student Assocation Supreme Court granted a portion of Engage's petition to the Election Commission, which is also expected to release its own decisions Thursday.