SGA elections postponed: Presidential candidate disqualified pending appeal

Results were scheduled to be announced April 7.

Results were scheduled to be announced April 7.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

SGA presidential candidate Eric Taylor was disqualified from the election following the publishing of his comments in the March 19 issue of the Pioneer, according to documents obtained by the Pioneer.

“I have been removed from the elections ballot as a result of what I believe to be an incorrect verdict on behalf of the Elections Committee,” Taylor said.

The election, which was scheduled to begin March 26, has been postponed until further notice, according to an email sent to all students by Meg Rincker, SGA faculty adviser. Anna Duley, elections chair and current vice president of SGA, declined to comment.

In a letter to Taylor written on March 27 and signed by Rincker, he was evaluated on five different behaviors during the election cycle. Taylor was found to have committed one Major Violation of Section IX C.2 of the Elections Code, which states a candidate may be disqualified for posting any slanderous material. The decision came after a meeting on March 26 with the Elections Committee. Rincker was unavailable for comment.

The comment under scrutiny, which was published in the March 19 version of The Pioneer, criticized SGA presidential candidate Riley Owens’ involvement in the election process. It read: “‘My team and I have been inclined to be less trustful of Riley’s campaign given the conflict of interest which arose when he was serving as the chair of the elections committee, received all of my election paperwork and flyers and then decided to step down in order to run against me,’ Taylor said.”

Taylor was also found to have committed three Minor Violations in accordance to the Elections Code signs rules, Section VI B, G and J. The violations cited are placing materials in unapproved posting locations, excessive posting of flyers and obscuring another candidate’s materials, according to a March 27 letter to Taylor from Rincker. Elections Code Section IX D.9 states that three minor violations may be grounds for disqualification. Taylor was given until 5 p.m. on March 28 to appeal the decision, which would be reviewed by the Rules and Internal Affairs Committee.

The Elections Code cited is a document from the Purdue University Calumet 2010- 11 election. The code does not clearly define what the committee should consider as slanderous.

This letter served as the second formal reprimand for Taylor during the election. A previous letter was sent to Taylor on March 11 by Rincker on behalf of the Elections Committee after their decision was made on his violation of election packet guidelines.

The March 11 letter stated that according to page five of the ‘18-’19 PNW SGA Election Packet that each candidate signed, he was in violation of “Candidates may post flyers or posters that have been approved by the Elections Committee, around campus at any designated posting site on either the Hammond of Westville campus.”

The letter went on to state that “Posters for candidate Eric Taylor were found at both cafeteria tables and in mailboxes, both of which are not university posting sites designated by PNW as approved.”

The Elections Code document was sent attached with the letter for further review. Taylor was given 24 hours to remove campaign posters that covered those of other candidates and to remove excess materials by March 12 at 12:15 p.m.

An email was sent to Victoria Von Uhl, vice presidential candidate, on March 28 stating that should Taylor remain ineligible for the election, she had until 5 p.m. on March 29 to submit a qualifying vice presidential or presidential candidate for running mate. Von Uhl declined to comment.

An appeal letter was sent by Taylor to Rincker on March 28. A decision has not been publicly announced by the Appeals Committee.

“My appeal serves a greater purpose than simply vindicating me of these charges; it ensures that the students are not denied a choice in who they truly want as their next representative, simply because an incomplete examination of the facts may have taken place,” Taylor said.