SA presidential candidates Roger Kapoor and Bob Simon will stay on the ballot after the Joint Election Committee ruled in their favor at hearings on campaign violations and complaints Friday afternoon.
The JEC dropped three complaints against Kapoor and ruled that one complaint was a violation, leaving Kapoor with five total violations. Candidates who receive eight violations are removed from the ballot. A complaint against Simon, who has no violations, was dropped. With the ruling, the Student Court moved closer to lifting the injunction against counting the votes of the Student Association elections.
Pending the results of hearings on ten complaints relating to Loren, Pellegrino and Change for Students, which will be held Friday night, the injunction could be lifted as early as Sunday, SA President Dave Burt said.
The JEC dropped bribery charges against all candidates who attended a Feb. 23 Delta Tau Delta “Rock the Vote” party hosted by Simon, the fraternity’s president, where 10 students were arrested by Metro Police for underage drinking.
JEC Chairman Josh Hiscock said candidates at the party, who were asked to come forward to the JEC this week, were not campaigning at the University-registered party and were therefore not under the jurisdiction of the JEC. SA Senate candidates Raj Parekh, Eric Daleo, Matt Hargarten, vice-presidential candidate Josh Singer and Loren were not assessed penalties for attending the party, which was open to all candidates seeking SA and Program Board seats.
The JEC found that Kapoor will not be held liable for two GW College Democrats endorsement advertisements placed in The Hatchet Feb. 26, which exceeded the JEC limit for endorsement advertisements allowed per student group. The JEC ruled that because no candidates were endorsed on both advertisements, sanctions not could be brought against the CDs or against the candidates.
Kapoor was assessed one penalty for not reporting plans to campaign with pizza in Thurston Hall last week. Under the JEC charter, candidates are obligated to report giveaways during the campaign, but the JEC did not penalize Kapoor for bribery in a common area of a residence hall, as the original complaint charged.
Hiscock said the JEC should not pit one person’s word against another, which was the case with this charge as the only evidence against Kapoor was one witness’s testimony.
“I’m happy to get through this,” Kapoor said. “It looks like the students’ voices will be heard.”
Josh Bhatti, Simon’s campaign manager, withdrew charges against Kapoor of abuse of CF privileges and ripping down posters.
The JEC also withdrew charges that Kapoor approved unauthorized law school mailings after he testified he did was not aware of the mailings.
The JEC is holding hearings Friday night on ten campaigning complaints against Change for Students, which is headed by Loren and vice presidential candidate Mike Pellegrino. The complaints tie the candidacies of Loren and Pellegrino to Change for Students and its constitution referendum, drafted by Loren and Pellegrino. SA Vice President Cathy Resler filed complaints against the constitution Tuesday, claiming the referendum was a candidate and had passed spending limits with ads in The Hatchet and other referendum-related publicity.
If the presidential race remains entangled in court battles through Sunday, the Student Court would allow the count of votes for Senate seats, Dave Burt said. After Friday afternoon’s hearings, all candidates except for Loren and Pellegrino have cleared complaints against them, allowing the candidates to remain in the race.
Burt said that if results are released Monday, it is likely that a possible run-off election would not be held until after Spring Break. The JEC and Student Court will decide when the run-off will be held.