Madson Ticket Officially Disqualified, Primary Elections to No Longer Take Place

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Supreme Court hearing for the Madsen Ticket. (Photo by Natalie Colby | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Natalie Colby, News Writer

 

At an Associated Students of University of Utah Supreme Court hearing on Feb. 17, the Madson ticket — Kaden Madson, Delaney Horchover and Chandler Blount — was officially disqualified from the ASUU presidential race as the court ruled in favor of the elections registrar Audrey Stegman. 

ASUU will now no longer hold a primary before a general election. They will only hold general elections for the three remaining tickets. 

The Madson ticket had been temporarily reinstated to the race after being disqualified because Horchover failed to complete the diversity statement that was outlined in the elections packet by the deadline. 

They appealed to the court immediately after their disqualification on Feb. 10, and the hearing was held Monday at 6 p.m. at the Peterson Heritage Center.

The court first heard from Madson, who claimed Stegman does not have the ability to disqualify or create prerequisites to becoming candidates. They argued that in article 2.2, section 13 of the bylaws that there is no place where it states that she has the ability to disqualify candidates — rather they must appear before the court who can make the decision. 

He also said they were inconsistent in their disqualifications throughout the process, allowing some tickets to not meet the filing fee deadline and still run, but disqualifying the Madson Ticket for missing a deadline. 

“[From] the way that Ms. Stegman handled these disputes, it is clear that she worked in favor of other tickets,” he said.

Attorney General Seodam Kwak then spoke for Stegman and stated that she did have the right to disqualify them. Kwak argued that article 2.2, section 13 of the constitution says she has the right to enforce and uphold the rules and procedures that apply to elections, including the diversity training.

He also said the requirement for the diversity statement was outlined in two separate packets for a significant period of time and she extended the deadline for the training by two separate occasions. 

After hearing both sides and over 10 minutes of deliberation, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Stegman, stating that article 5, section 5, part 1 gives the elections director the authority to publish a packet and enforce the rules within the packet, therefore she has the right to disqualify the ticket. 

They also said that Stegman gave the tickets adequate time to complete the diversity training, and while she could have been more clear in her deadlines and sent out more notifications through varied types of communication, she gave the tickets sufficient time and notifications to complete the assignments.

“This isn’t what we worked so hard to achieve, but I do think that overall that there is a way forward and there is a way to help the school even if it’s not from an elected position,” Madson said after the decision.

Stegman said she was excited the court ruled in her favor, but it is unfortunate that they have one less ticket. 

“I’ll think I’ll definitely take the recommendations of the Supreme Court and put that in my transition for any future elections director,” she said. 

The general elections for the three remaining tickets will take place from Feb. 24-27. Students will receive a link in their Umail that will allow them to vote. 

 

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