AU lawyers said they have heard “unsubstantiated” rumors of complaints concerning possible student voter intimidation on Election Day.
The Office of General Counsel does not have any firsthand evidence right now but is gathering information, according to Bethany Bridgham, an AU attorney. The office does not know if it will take any action.
In the past 10 years, there have not been any ballots challenged at the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church polls on Nebraska Avenue, according to Precinct 9 Captain Lawrence Williams.
But this year, about 35 voters — mostly students — were challenged, Williams said.
Carlo Fiorino, a freshman living in McDowell Hall, was challenged at the polls. However, he was ultimately able to vote.
“It’s weird,” he said. “I just wanted to vote. They’re making a big deal out of it.”
If students feel they were intimidated at the polls, they should submit a written document detailing the situation, signed and witnessed by another person, to the AU Office of General Counsel.
The political activities undertaken by AU, as a non-profit, private university, are regulated by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and the Federal Election Campaign Act. However, Justin Perillo, another AU attorney, said the right to vote is not a partisan issue.
“Anyone who has a legal right to vote shouldn’t feel intimated,” Perillo said.