Indiana Daily Student

IUSA Supreme Court to determine appeals Monday night

The IU Student Association Supreme Court will convene Monday night to reconsider the outcomes of two Election Commission decisions on complaints involving Reform IUSA and Voice IUSA.

One of Reform’s original complaints alleged the Voice campaign violated the election code for failing to disclose seven donor email addresses on its financial records. 

A five percent vote deduction could be placed on Voice for each missing email address, which could be doubled if there is evidence to show a clear code violation as per election rules. This could account for 70 percent deduction of Voice’s overall vote count. 

Four commissioners voted during April 3 determinations to recognize a violation of the election code occurred and also found the violation met the standards for a clear error, which would double the penalty. 

Four other commissioners abstained. 

Abstaining members believed such a large deduction for this particular violation did not aid the mission of a fair and equal election, according to a report filed by Election Commission chair Savannah Wormley and cosigned by other abstaining members. 

“A major vote deduction for a minor mistake like this is anything but ‘fair,’” Wormley wrote.

Voice has already lost 10 percent of its total vote after the commission determined the campaign violated the election code for submitting its intermediate financial statement outside of the designated time frame.

In a report following the vote, Election Commission supervisor Cody Vaughn said Voice did violate the code, and commissioners’ votes should have reflected the violation occurred with clear and convincing evidence.

“Despite what candidates or other observers may believe or say, the Election Commission is not some arbiter of who deserves to win elections,” Vaughn wrote.

The Supreme Court’s second decision will also help determine protocol for a campaign replacing a candidate after the voting period has ended but before the Supreme Court verifies election results.

Voice filed an appeal against Reform after learning Reform’s treasurer had resigned from the position after voting closed.

In its original ruling, the Election Commission based its decision on a case called SPARC v. Election Commission, which does allow for the replacement of candidates. However, no past cases have determined whether SPARC v. Election Commission also applies during this in-between time.

Lydia Gerike

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