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Joint Elections Commission proposes pushing SA election to April 13 and 14

Lily Speredelozzi | Assistant Photo Editor
SA President Christian Zidouemba said he plans to appeal a ruling that disqualified him from next week’s election.

The Joint Elections Commission proposed rescheduling the Student Association election to April 13 and 14 in a Wednesday night announcement.

The JEC will send an advisory opinion to the SA Senate’s Governance and Nominations Committee recommending that the senate reschedule the election – initially set for next Wednesday and Thursday – after the commission delayed the election Tuesday amid disputes over the JEC removing candidates from the ballot. The Governance and Nominations Committee must now vote on the proposed election date, after which the full senate must officially approve the new schedule, according to the SA bylaws.

Senate Chairperson Pro Tempore Demetrius Apostolis, CCAS-U, who chairs the Governance and Nominations Committee, said the committee will meet to vote on the recommendation Thursday at 9:30 p.m. Apostlis, who is running for SA Vice President, said the SA Sen. Nicole Blackstone, G-At-Large, will chair the meeting to avoid any conflicts of interest.

The opinion states the original election schedule did not comply with JEC rules, as the initial campaign period was not planned to last the requisite 10 class days. SA bylaws require the campaign period, which begins with the annual postering day, to last 10 class days until the end of voting.

“The Joint Elections Commission finds that there is good cause to delay the 2023 SA elections due to members of the commission being appointed late, pending appeals in front of the Student Court and the original election calendar lacking a 10 class-day campaign period,” the opinion reads.

SA President Christian Zidouemba appointed Joint Elections Commissioner Fatima Konte nearly four months later than required by SA bylaws.

The JEC removed three candidates from the ballot after the commission invalidated signatures for two candidates potential candidate Mohamed Redzuan Bin Mohamed Raffe and prospective senate candidate Aidan Spencer and found Zidouemba guilty of campaign violations for asking students for reelection signatures under the guise of canvassing for a different campaign. All three potential candidates said they have filed complaints in the Student Court appealing their suspensions. 

One of Zidouemba’s petition sheets that The Hatchet obtained shows Rowe’s name crossed out in the candidate slot and Zidouemba’s name written above, and another sheet appears to have the letter “K” crossed out in the same spot with Zidouemba’s name written to the right.

The commission also removed Raffe from the race after discounting signatures he collected from students who did not include their GWIDs in the appropriate slot of the petition sheet, putting him below the 385-signature threshold to make the ballot as a presidential candidate. The JEC also removed Spencer from the ballot, striking down signatures he received that did not include students’ schools.

SA Vice President Yan Xu said as of 9 p.m. Wednesday, he has not yet received a petition to meet from senators, but he expects one “soon.”

The JEC released two other advisory opinions, updating their stances on campaign policies.

The commission repealed its previous stance on distributing campaign material in dormitories, saying in the advisory opinion distribution is prohibited, and it will provide an updated stance after the election schedule is finalized.

The JEC prohibited candidates from using personal tables to campaign. The commission also prohibited candidates from using University-owned tables to campaign in an opinion released March 24.

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About the Contributor
Erika Filter, News Editor
Erika Filter is a senior majoring in international affairs from Carson City, Nevada. She leads the Metro beat as one of The Hatchet's 2023-2024 news editors and previously served as the assistant news editor for the Student Government beat.
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