Runoff election postponed until after spring break

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Alli Hoff.

Update, 7:59 a.m.

The runoff election for the Student Association presidency is postponed until after spring break. Originally scheduled for March 11 and 12, the contest was delayed to allow the Joint Elections Committee — the independent body that oversees the elections — to more carefully consider recent complaints filed against presidential candidate Kyle Boyer, the executive vice president.

The bill delaying the election was passed at Tuesday night’s senate meeting. SA President Vishal Aswani signed the bill shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, officially postponing the election until after spring break.

Boyer said he does not agree with postponing the election.

“I think the election has dragged on too long and I think people want to vote,” said Boyer. “People want to vote on the candidates’ merits and not on frivolous claims.”

SA Sen. Steve Glatter (Law) introduced the bill to delay the runoff to make sure the runoff election would be fair if Boyer is disqualified from the race.

The bill also changed the JEC charter, removing a provision where if a runoff election candidate is disqualified less than 24 hours before the start of the election, then the other candidate would be declared the winner. Now, the candidate receiving the next-most votes would be promoted to the runoff.

“I don’t think anyone would want to win by default,” Glatter said. “I think everyone can agree that we would still want to have an election so that the voters could have a choice.”

The JEC will meet Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. to discuss four complaints against Boyer over campaign financing. Boyer has already received three campaign violations during this election. If the JEC assesses him penalties for three complaints at Wednesday’s meeting, Boyer will be removed from the ballot.

SA Sen. Julie Bindelglass (CCAS-U), a sophomore and chair of the finance committee, is in the runoff with Boyer. SA Sen. Nick Polk (U-At Large), a sophomore, came in third in the general election and would join Bindelglass in the runoff if Boyer is disqualified.

“I agree with my senate colleagues on giving everyone a fair chance,” Bindelglass said. “It just gives me more time to talk to more students and get to know more people, which is something I love to do. I’m just letting them know that they have a choice.”

SA Sen. Logan Dobson (CCAS-U) emphasized that the bill does not advocate for any specific candidate.

“This is not something that is pro-Julie, pro-Kyle or pro-Nick,” he said during the Senate debate. “We’re just saying that we shouldn’t have an election until we know who should be on the ballot.”

As this year’s rules committee chair, Polk said he recognizes the flawed nature of the original JEC charter. “As I’ve said, the charter is a work in progress,” he said. “That’s definitely a clause that I’ve missed. There should never be a winner by default.”

The senate passed the bill unanimously, delaying the election for at least two weeks, though an official date has not yet been set. Bindelglass and Polk recused themselves from Tuesday’s vote. Boyer, who generally presides over the senate as EVP, was not present at the meeting.

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