Judicial Board releases ruling on Elections Board, orders board to release elections data


CW File

Jackson Fuentes

Less than 24 hours after The Crimson White confirmed University student Ryan Truitt’s, “Motion to Compel” against the Elections Board, the University’s Student Judiciary released their ruling regarding  Truitt’s motion, as well as possible rules violations by the Elections Board under the Spring 2017 Elections Manual. 

The opinion was delivered by Chief Justice Eleanor Bowers and six other justices after Truitt originally called for “all elections in which the Spring 2017 Elections Manual was in effect [to] be null and void.”

In the ruling, The Student Judiciary ordered the Elections Board to release items such as financial reports and full, tabulated results for the fall 2017 elections, while also ordering that the Board “issue a public statement regarding its failure to adhere to the Elections Manual” by 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 15.  Additionally, the Student Judiciary ordered that complaints and appeals of results be accepted until Friday at 4:30 p.m. 

“The Office of Student Conduct will preside over all elections violations forwarded to them by Elections Board from the Fall 2017 elections,” the ruling read. 

After the ruling was delivered, Chief Justice Bowers, a senior double majoring in political science and history, explained that the violations that she cited were mostly straightforward.  She later added that specific timelines in Elections Manual Article 1 Section 8 and Section 10 were not followed and that “things were not done properly.”

Bowers emphasized the importance behind beginning to follow the Elections Manual in the future, while simultaneously highlighting that she could only control things that had happened during her term as Chief Justice.

“As for the future, it will just be important that the timeline in the Elections Manual is adhered to,” Bowers said.  “I just felt that I could really only speak to fall elections because it is under my term as chief justice.”

She also stated that the spring 2017 election results will remain unchanged because they were overseen by a different Elections Board. She felt that it was not in her jurisdiction to release results from the highly contested spring election of 2017 because her inauguration happened after the election and because of the resignation of the entire Elections Board that oversaw the spring 2017 election.  

The Chief Justice declined to comment on whether University students would have the chance to see the results from the highly contested 2017 spring election.  

University student Ryan Truitt felt that some of the concerns raised in his motion were addressed, and was glad that the Elections Board will now have to release pertinent information from the fall 2017 election.  

“[A] transparent process is important,” said Truitt.  “I appreciate the board for upholding their integrity”

As it pertains to the spring 2017 elections, Truitt understood Bowers’ reasoning for not releasing the information.

“I would implore the Elections Board, in [an] act of full transparency, to still release spring 2017 information, as an example of full transparency for the elections process,” he said.

After the ruling, Truitt was still unsure about his willingness to file another motion at this time.  

“If something comes up, I may act” Truitt said.  “I’m not going to say yes, I’m not going to say no…As a student, it’s important to me that those who represent me are fully committed to free and fair elections,”