JEC gives violations to nine more candidates

Nine more Student Association candidates received election penalties from the Joint Elections Committee Wednesday night, halfway through the two-day election period. None of them received enough to be removed from the ballot.

After debating in executive session for half an hour, JEC members determined SA presidential candidate Chris Clark, executive vice presidential candidates Ted Costigan and Zahin Hasan, and SA Senate hopefuls Danica Brown, Daniel Bassali and Jonathan Carfagno guilty of hanging campaign posters on the exterior walls adjacent to the entrance of Ross Hall.

According to the election charter, postering in this area is grounds for  violation. JEC Chief Investigator Willard Applefeld said posters adjacent to the Ross Hall entrance give candidates an unfair advantage “up and down 23rd Street.”

Penalties were determined based on every fifth poster, or fraction thereof.  Hasan received four penalties, Clark and Bassali each received two violations, and Costigan, Carfagno, and Brown each received one.

It takes six penalties to remove a candidate from the ballot.

“It’s unfortunate,” Clark said afterward. “But we’re going to keep powering through it.  It was not intentional and was a complete misread of the charter.  We’re going to move forward from here.”

EVP candidate Aria Varasteh also received one violation for covering Costigan’s last name on a poster with tape.

“I just did not check the Academic Building at the end of the day.  It was a mistake.” Varasteh said. “It’s the day before the election, I am not going to contest.

Presidential candidate Kwasi Agyeman, who received two penalties last week for sending unsolicited e-mails to student organization leaders, was also tried for hanging posters on Ross Hall, but was the only candidate not found guilty.

Agyeman argued that based on the evidence, it was unclear whether his posters were hanging at Ross Hall or not.

The JEC also handed down penalties to senate candidates Manuel Iglesias and Patrick Cero for not getting their posters approved. Both received one penalty each.

JEC Chair Galen Petruso said the committee will disclose its reasoning for the decisions within 72 hours.

“The specific reasons as to why candidates were found in violation will be found in the committee’s finding of fact, which will be adopted within 72 hours of the decision,” Petruso said.  “While it is regretable that penalties had to be assessed, the JEC operates under the charter it is given and must conduct elections accordingly.”

The JEC’s next violations hearing will be held after spring break. Costigan currently faces four additional violations and senate candidate Elizabeth Kennedy faces one.

Voting will resume Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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