The Student Association senate voted Tuesday to postpone the SA presidential runoff election until after spring break to give the election’s oversight body time to review a series of campaign violations on Wednesday night.
The election between SA Sen. Julie Bindelglass, CCAS-U, and SA Executive Vice President Kyle Boyer was previously scheduled to take place March 11 and 12. But after four campaign violations were filed against Boyer last week, his place on the runoff ballot became less certain and Sen. Steve Glatter, Law, introduced legislation to give the Joint Elections Committee ample time to decide if Boyer’s violations were valid.
The JEC found Boyer guilty early Thursday morning of enough violations to remove him from the ballot, meaning SA Sen. Nick Polk, U-At Large, will replace him in the runoff pending a court appeal. The election will take place after spring break but no official dates have been set.
Last month, Boyer missed clinching the necessary 40 percent of the vote to win the general election by two votes.
Boyer said Tuesdsay he disagreed with the senate’s decision.
“I think the election has dragged on too long and I think people want to vote,” Boyer said. “People want to vote on the candidates’ merits and not on frivolous claims.”
Glatter’s bill also changed the JEC charter’s rules regarding disqualification from the runoff ballot. The bill ensures that if someone is kicked off the runoff ballot at any time, the third-place finisher in the general election would take his or her place. Previously, if a candidate was disqualified less than 24 hours before the start of the runoff election, the other contender would be automatically declared the winner.
“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.”
Bindelglass and Polk recused themselves from Tuesday’s senate vote and Boyer, who generally presides over the senate as executive vice president, was not present at the meeting.
“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.”