Elizabeth Strange is appealing the results of the St. Thomas University students’ union election and wants a by-election.
She was a candidate for vice-president education during the vote on Tuesday and Wednesday last week.
Strange said Alex Driscoll, who defeated her by 99 votes or almost 18 per cent, was standing near polling stations “excessively.”
“The proper democratic process was not followed,” Strange said in a phone interview Tuesday.
STUSU by-laws contain provisions that prevent candidates from campaigning near polling stations.
Driscoll denies Strange’s allegations.
“That accusation is completely false. I was not standing by polling stations, staring at people, intimidating them to vote for me. I’m quite offended those accusations would come about,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday.
The only time he says he was near the polling stations was when he voted and when he walked by to go to classes.
On Feb. 29, chief returning officer Sarah Bulman approached Driscoll in the James Dunn Hall cafeteria to tell him to steer clear of polling stations because she had heard a complaint.
He was in JDH that Wednesday selling Chatham Hall pubcrawl T-shirts when Bulman approached him. He was sitting near the courtyard doors about 40 feet from the polling station.
“I made it so that I was sitting behind the Bristol board and my face couldn’t easily be seen by someone at the polling station unless they were really trying to search me out.”
Driscoll said Bulman didn’t tell him to move.
STUSU bylaws require the appeal to be filed within three business days after the results of the election are announced. A hearing for the appeal must happen within 10 business days of the filing.
The appellate board has three members who hear appeals.
Strange said she has witnesses who are willing to testify at the hearing, including poll clerks.
The person who files an appeal has to also ask the appellate board for a remedy. Strange said she is seeking a by-election.
“I think I have a pretty strong case,” she said about her chances of the board ruling in her favour.
“Hopefully it [a by-election] happens because the proper democratic process wasn’t followed because he didn’t follow the rules. So I don’t think the current vote should stand.”
She said she hopes people don’t think she’s appealing out of spite.
“I’m a little worried that this appeal might make people more upset with me,” she said.
“I hope people understand that I don’t think the proper democratic process was followed and that since there would only be one position running I think people will be able to learn more about the issues.”
Ryan Smith, STUSU chief appeal officer and chair of council meetings said, as of Tuesday, a date had not been set for the appeal hearing.
Frank Jr. Molley, who was disqualified from the presidential election on Feb. 19 by Bulman after he missed a mandatory meeting, has also filed an appeal over his disqualification.
Smith was also disqualified from this STUSU election for missing the same meeting. He will be one of three hearing Molley’s appeal.
In the 2009 presidential election, Craig Mazerolle filed an appeal after his name was partially cut off of some ballots. The appellate board decided to have a re-vote, which Mazerolle lost to Mark Henick.
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