Elections Committee fines PINC Party $300 for grievance

The Elections Committee found the People Incorporated Party in violation of elections rules and imposed a fine of $300 Wednesday evening.

The committee said that by posting www.votepinc.com to the Internet, the People Incorporated Party had its campaign Web site running before Feb. 19, the day active campaigning may begin.

“It was not a Web site, it was a database,” said Taylor Morgan, presidential candidate for People Incorporated.

The HTML address led people to a pink background with no information about the campaign or candidates. It contained only a place for students to request to receive party e-mails.

In an official statement, the party said that anyone visiting the site other than an internal campaign member would not be able to discern that the site had anything to do with Associated Students of the University of Utah elections, or the party.

“You could not tie it back to us,” Morgan said.

Jeremy Jones, a member of the Elections Committee, explained it was a Web site rather than a database because it had no password protection and was accessible to the public.

“It’s such a big advantage to refer people to a Web site that people can access themselves and receive information,” said Zan Larsen, campaign manager for the Students First Party.

Larsen also felt it was unfair that the words “votepinc” were in the address.

Before the site was shut down, it had 501 recorded hits on the stock counter, which the Election Committee felt was too high for a database.

“We have been using the database for two months,” Morgan said. “Sometimes we would go there twice a day or more to change things.”

Morgan’s statement that the database has been in use for two months contradicts a statement made by Kaysha Gurell, public relations representative for People Incorporated, at the grievance hearing. According to minutes taken by Elections Chairperson Andrea Muhlestein, Gurell said the site had only been up and running since Feb. 10. The People Incorporated Party has filed an appeal against the ruling.

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