Update on disqualification

The following message has been sent out to all VFMs. There’s also a list of complains and the EA’s response to them that came in another email- I’m trying to figure out a way of uploading them all. Hopefully they will be up soon.

This statement is being released to all VFM contestants on Monday, February 9, 2009 in response to the Elections Committee ruling on Friday, February 6.

The disqualification was ruled in response to two complaints of elections irregularities involving Presidential Blake running as part of a slate. The coordinated and mutual campaigning is the primary point of the committee’s ruling. The video evidence indicates that they were coordinating campaigning times and locations together; members of the Elections Committee were provided with photo evidence suggesting that the alleged slate planned poster placement together.

In response to questions regarding why Mr. Frederick was not questioned: The Elections Committee is not a court, and does not hold hearings. Instead, it has the power to issue rulings on complaints. The appeals committee exists for this reason.

Many students have questioned why the EC did not rule to re-do the race. According to the AMS Code of Procedures Section IX A, Article 3 (7), “If serious offences have been committed by more than one candidate in an election, the Elections Committee may declare the results of that election invalid”. As stated in the initial statement, the committee felt these allegations were in reference to the actions of only one candidate in that particular race, and thus does not have grounds to entertain a by-election.

The Elections Committee does not consider these offenses minor, and has proceeded with full knowledge of the gravity of the situation. While we feel that this situation is regrettable, it would be inappropriate for the body responsible for enforcing the rules to ignore violations for expediency’s sake. The appeals process exists for controversial decisions such as this, and we respect that there will likely be a higher body involved in the final decision on this matter.


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  1. The controversy deepens!

    As someone who is not involved in the AMS, can someone tell me why (as candidates have said they were told at the All Candidates’ meeting) it might be okay for them to make classroom announcements together… but not ‘coordinate’ making those announcements together? And were there not other candidates who also campaigned at the same times in the same locations without being declared a slate? I find this very confusing…

    Also, when it comes to photo evidence that poster placement was done together – I find that to be a very difficult charge to make stick. As someone who has postered on campus numerous times, there are a limited number of places where you CAN put posters up (where they will not be taken down). When postering, you want to make sure that the relevant people read your posters… so I usually would put them near other posters for similar events (i.e. Antigone posters near VDay posters). So, how can you prove that because the posters were close together, the intention was to create a slate? There could be many other intentions for such a situation (i.e. to put the posters with other campaign posters).

    Also, while I do understand that the Elections Committee is not a court, the fact that they have dealt with complaints differently in the past (i.e. by contacting the candidates) and didn’t in this case leaves it open to ‘charges’ of bias. I DO NOT think that it was biased but I think that a procedure should be developped on how to deal with complaints that should be stuck to so that it is consistent and above reproach.

    And, one last thing about the ‘false allegations’ that were supposedly being investigated that were referred to in the first e-mail. I have a really hard time being okay with people being penalized for ‘false allegations’. I say this only because there are many times in which allegations of a crime or infraction (especially say rape… when it is a he said, she said thing…similar to this) cannot be proven, but it does not mean that they were false. I’m not saying that is the case here. I’m just saying, such a move would discourage people from reporting real abuses. Something to think about…

    Posted by Amanda Reaume | February 9, 2009, 2:42 pm
  2. Well said Amanda.

    I’m particularly amused by the implication that it is ok to make classroom announcements together, but not ok to plan making such announcements together.

    Posted by Mike Thicke | February 9, 2009, 2:46 pm
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