ONE Party Banned From Campaigning Two Days Before ASUU Elections

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Elections Commitee member Leo Massic, left, speaks while Electrions Commitee member Sherry Meng, right, looks on during the ASUU Grievance against Kylie Petron at the U on Thursday, Feb.18th, 2016. (Rishi Deka, Daily Utah Chronicle)

The ONE Party has been ordered to suspend all campaigning from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2.

After finding the party in violation of election rules at a grievance hearing on Monday night, the ASUU elections committee issued the ban, which applies to social media campaigning as well as planned on-campus events. SLC Party filed the grievance and accused ONE of “buying votes” by handing out plastic trophies to students who claimed to have voted.

Candidates from ONE claimed the trophies were meant to encourage and reward all civic engagement, regardless of the ballot box checked. Students were not required to provide proof they had voted, let alone for a ONE candidate, said party spokesperson Jake Knight.

“To be honest, any voter could have outright lied,” Knight said.

ONE claimed the contested “awards ceremony” was approved by the steering committee. However, elections registrar Chase Lindsey clarified the committee is responsible for approving only event logistics, not marketing materials.

The official decision was posted to the elections blog and said the trophies’ lack of logos, which “leaves open to question the possibility that [the trophies] could be construed as “personal prizes” and not marketing material.”

Additionally, the ruling referenced a scheduling document from Feb. 22 for a lunchtime event which planned to “honor a random voter who has claimed to have voted for [ONE] with a photo-op and trophy.” ONE vice presidential candidate Christina Ripley said this document was an “early draft” and the final event differed significantly.

The committee justified suspending ONE’s tabling just two days before voting closes because of a Redbook article that classifies all campaign rule violations committed within the last five days of an election as “more heinous for the purpose of punishment.” The campaigning sanction is only half the length of the two-day ban proposed by the SLC Party, which the election committee deemed “excessive.”

a.oligschlaeger@dailyutahchronicle.com

@allisonoctober