Court hearings clear way for SA vote count

The Student Association will announce the winners of last week’s elections Wednesday morning after a weekend of indecision by SA officials on when to begin the count.

The SA Student Court lifted its block on vote counting Sunday afternoon, allowing the Joint Elections Committee to tally votes.

After issuing a press release at 10:23 p.m. Sunday night saying results would not be released until Friday because JEC members needed time to study for midterm exams, JEC Chair Josh Hiscock said the committee decided to compromise and announce the results as soon as possible.

“After consulting numerous officials, we came to the conclusion that sooner was better,” Hiscock said. He said SA President David Burt was included in conversations about the decision late Sunday night.

SA Executive Vice President Cathy Resler, who filed suit Sunday night with the Student Court calling for a vote count the next day, said an extended campaign period would be unfair to already exhausted candidates and would encroach on the transition period for the new administration. Presidential appointments and applications for student group funding begin in April.

“This is creating the potential of a failed administration even before they have a chance to start,” Resler said.

The JEC will probably hold hearings for more complaints against candidates Wednesday night, JEC member Amanda Deegan said. No new complaints had been filed by press time Monday morning.

The JEC can rule on alleged campaign violations until winners are officially certified, Deegan said. If the JEC removes a winning candidate from the ballot, the next-highest vote-getter wins, unless the Student Court overturns the committee’s ruling, Deegan said.

After last week’s legal battles that held the fate of some candidates in the balance, candidates said they can do nothing but await the final results.

“At this point, what happens, happens,” presidential candidate Daniel Loren said. “I would be more anxious if I had more energy.”

Presidential candidate Roger Kapoor, who avoided removal from the ballot last week when the JEC and the Student Court dropped charges against him, said he respects the JEC’s jurisdiction.

“I hold no ill-will towards any party,” Kapoor said. “I have full confidence in the JEC.”

Results of Senate races were included under the Student Court injunction, although most violation hearings involved presidential candidates.

Undergraduate-at-large candidate Raj Parekh said he was happy the results would be released this week, but feels Senate candidates should have known their results earlier.

“I didn’t agree with the court issuing an injunction on all of our ballots,” he said. “This stuff happens, I’m just glad everything is taken care of.”

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