In previous years all Facebook groups and ads had to be shut down on the midnight before voting begins. But this year many candidates were claiming they were unable to access their groups to shut them down.
By noon today many Facebook groups were still up.
- Mark Livingstone
- Mary-Dan Johnston
- Lydia MacDonell (who managed to delete herself before everyone in the group)
- Meredith Daley
- Nicole Blair
Here’s the relevant sections from the STUSU By-Laws
- S.11. No active campaigning shall continue past 11:59pm on the final day of campaigning, which shall include hanging posters, leaving previously hung posters on walls, distributing loose material, and otherwise communicating their candidacy.
- S.12. The definition of “active campaigning” shall lie with the Chief Returning Officer.
- S.13. Candidates with more than five (5) pieces of campaign material posted or distributed after the close of campaigning shall be charged $10.00 per item to a maximum of $50.00, whereupon the Chief Returning Officer has the authority to disqualify that candidate.
- S.14. The Chief Returning Officer is empowered to discipline candidates found in violation of the electoral by-laws, which may include but is not limited to disqualification from candidacy.
But the candidates were saved by a decision made by the Chief Returning Officer late last night:
I have received a number of comments regarding candidates’ inability to shut down their own Facebook groups. I will admit to not knowing how Facebook groups are shut down and I have neither the time nor the inclination at this stage to learn. As such, I will make the following executive decision: Facebook groups may remain up during the campaign period, but you are not to make any comments on your own group, you are to close commernts from others if possible, and you should delete the group as soon as possible. If you have any questions, I won’t be answering them till daylight.
Sorry for the short notice,
Chief Returning Officer
St. Thomas University Students’ Union
So for now the groups stay up for students that still had them up. It’s unclear if this will lead to any appeals of the results.
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