Election complaints to be reviewed by ASUW Judicial Committee

The ASUW Judicial Committee will review a series of complaints against ASUW election candidates in a public meeting tonight.

There were 10 complaints filed this year, of which seven will be pursued at the Judicial Committee hearing. Four of the seven complaints are against the Imagine UW ticket. Violations of campaign rules are outlined in the 2011 Elections Policies and Procedures (EPP) document, and the Judicial Committee decides whether complaints constitute violations.

Last year, there were only three violations filed, and one was withdrawn before the Judicial Committee hearing.

Wilson Faust, campaign manager for Huskies United, filed seven complaints against the Imagine UW ticket after voting ended.

Two of the violations he cited relate to campaigning in academic buildings. Faust said that Imagine UW campaigned in Savery Hall and Odegaard Library.

Another complaint stated that Imagine UW violated the physical plant policy — which concerns the usage and placement of campaign posters — by tying down balloons and placing red boxes on stairways around campus. The fourth violation was about endorsements listed on the Imagine UW website. Faust said that Imagine UW listed the Interfraternity Council (IFC) as an endorsement when the IFC only endorsed a few of the ticket’s members — not the ticket as a whole.

“Essentially, I filed my complaints on behalf of select volunteers for the Huskies United ticket, who were distressed by the campaign tactics used by Imagine UW and would like to see the campaign violations be penalized, so that the EPP is a document that candidates uphold,” Faust said.

Dalia Amin, presidential candidate for Imagine UW, said that she would reserve comment on specific violations until the Judicial Committee decided about the complaints.

“There are a lot of complaints every year,” Amin said. “There were complaints that I wanted to make that I didn’t get a chance to. … Every party, every year makes mistakes that can be considered violations. … We saw plenty of violations, but, unfortunately, those slip through the cracks.”

Election results for the ASUW Board of Directors was announced Thursday. Seven out of the eight ASUW Board of Directors positions next year will be filled by members of the Huskies United ticket. Jonathan Winn, elected director of diversity efforts, was the only member of the Imagine UW ticket to win a seat on the board. This year’s elections had three tickets running — Huskies United, Imagine UW and Our Future — as well as an independent candidate for director of policy and procedures.

Faust also filed three complaints that he will not be pursuing at tomorrow’s Judicial Committee hearing.

“We decided, in discussion with former candidates [in this year’s elections], that these violations that we are withdrawing don’t have enough evidence,” Faust said. “The evidence wasn’t enough to be certain, and we wouldn’t — without certainty — make those claims.”

William Cavecche, chair of the Elections Administration Committee, said that it’s completely up to the Judicial Committee to decide which complaints constitute minor or major violations and what the penalties will be, although there are guidelines in the EPP.

Penalties for major violations can be monetary fines no fewer than $50, community service assignment of at least five hours completed by June 3, restriction from participating for a period of up to one school year in ASUW paid or volunteer positions, or any combination of these. Penalties for minor violations can include a monetary fine to be decided by the Judicial Committee or community service within Condon Hall and ASUW offices. The complainant is responsible for proving that the violation happened to the Judicial Committee.

The most severe violation that the Judicial Committee can rule as a complaint is an intentional violation. According to the EPP, any violation which is “found by the Judicial Committee to have been a result of a willful intent to disobey the stated rules” will be considered intentional. A major violation proven to be intentional may constitute grounds for an elected candidate to be removed from office, and his or her vacant position will be appointed to the runner-up.

Cavecche also filed complaints against the Imagine UW and Our Future tickets for not cleaning up all campaigning material by 8 a.m. Friday. According to the EPP, these complaints constitute minor violations.

The new complaints join two existing complaints filed by Cavecche before voting: one against 20 of the 21 candidates for not turning in their midcampaign financial disclosure form by the May 2 deadline, and the other against the Imagine UW ticket for writing on the ground with chalk in front of Meany Hall during the Miss Greek pageant. According to the EPP, these complaints constitute major violations.

The complaints will be heard today at 6 p.m. by the Judicial Committee in Condon Hall in room 511E.

Reach reporter Sarah Schweppe at news@dailyuw.com.

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