The Board of Elections held three formal hearings against candidates in the Student Government executive race this year.
“I would honestly say, though I might be a little biased, this is the smoothest executive race we’ve ever had,” said Phil Cardarella, chair of the BOE, during an address to the Senate during election certification.
The BOE held formal hearings for three violations: two against SG presidential candidate Abby Finn and one against SG president-elect Emily Yu.
Finn’s first violation came when she made campaign videos before the official campaign start date, The Eagle previously reported.
Yu’s campaign filed the complaint against Finn.
The Board of Elections filed the second violation against Finn on March 26 when her campaign tagged the SG Facebook page in one of her events. Candidates cannot tag a SG page in a Facebook post before the start of campaigning as it gives an advantage to the campaign because it posts the announcement on the campaign-free zone of the SG page.
The BOE ordered a six-hour suspension for Finn’s campaign on March 27, beginning at 9 a.m.
Finn also filed a violation against Yu for showing part of the AU logo in some of her profile pictures, according to Cardarella. Cardarella said the AU logo is copyrighted.
The BOE decided that, by using part of the AU logo in which only part of the AU letters were shown, Yu did not violate the copyright.
Cardarella said candidates committed at least seven violations during the campaign, but he handled four of them through mediation, a process through which both parties meet with the BOE chair and discuss the violation.
Although a violation can be settled through mediation, sanctions can still be applied to candidates.
“You’re sanctioned because something has to take away that advantage,” Cardarella said.
The BOE began to use more mediation beginning last year with Chair Dan Lewis, although mediation had always been in the BOE policy book.