Student Government presidential candidate Abigail Finn went over her budget limit by $3 due to a miscommunication between her and the Board of Elections, according to BOE Chair Phil Cardarella.
The extra $3 came from bumper stickers used in current SG President Tim McBride’s endorsement video of Finn, Cardarella said.
“President McBride printed ‘bumper stickers’ from his own computer and didn’t realize it counted towards our budget,” Finn told The Eagle in an email. “I was never informed that $3 counted towards my finances, so you telling me that was the first time I heard of it.”
However, Cardarella said Finn had been suspended from campaigning for two hours due to spending more than allowed on March 26.
Finn said in an email that the suspension came from the homemade bumper stickers that McBride printed March 25.
“If that is the $3 Phil referred to, the cost of my printed logo [on the bumper stickers] certainly did not amount to $3,” Finn said.
Candidates can be disqualified for overspending, according to this year’s BOE policy book.
Finn also violated the BOE policy book by printing posters without the Student Activities stamp. The BOE requires the stamp to be placed on posters so resident assistants will not tear down the posters in the dorms, according to Cardarella.
The BOE decided they would allow Finn to tape a printed version of the stamp on to her posters.
Because Finn used school supplies to print the stamps, the BOE charged her the remaining amount of her spending limit.
The BOE does not allow candidates to use AU or student organization funds or resources, according to the policy book.
All other candidates stayed under the $200 dollar limit.
President-elect Emily Yu spent $197.44, and Deon Jones spent $134.56.
Yu, Finn and Jones all spent money on posters. Yu also spent money on iron-on T-shirts and a banner over the Bender Arena parking garage while Finn spent money on campaign buttons.
The BOE does not count chalk and black and white copies of campaign materials toward the total spending amount, Cardarella said.
BOE documents report Charles Merrick as not spending any money toward his limit. However, Merrick made a number of color posters.
Cardarella said the lack of information on Merrick’s campaign finance totals was a mistake by the BOE.
The BOE offered the Campaign Leadership Grant this year, which allows executive candidates to use SG funds toward their campaigns. Students must acquire 150 signatures on their nominating petitions to indicate their interest, according to the BOE policy book.
Finn, Jones and Palak Gosar used the grant.
“The Leadership Grant was introduced to prevent the cost of running for an executive position from keeping individuals from running,” Cardarella said. “We had a successful test run of it this year, and I hope it continues into the future.”
Last year, the BOE capped candidate spending at $300, The Eagle previously reported.
The BOE lowered the spending limit to decrease the financial requirement for running, Cardarella said in an email.