TUSG complaints disregarded by elections commissioner

Seven complaints were made by both tickets in the runoff executive election

The ASASU elections commissioner will disregard complaints filed toward the end of the Tempe Undergraduate Student Government runoff executive election last week. The complaints were filed by both executive tickets participating in the runoff. 

Assistant Elections Commissioner Nicole Delabarre made note of the complaints on April 6, when Brittany Benedict’s ticket was announced to have won the runoff versus presidential candidate Aundrea DeGravina’s ticket.

Delabarre said in an email to The State Press that five complaints were filed by DeGravina and two by Benedict, which was later confirmed by ASASU Elections Commissioner Dhara Shah.

Shah said that neither of the tickets violated campaign laws and would not be reprimanded for the complaints.

“There were no infractions that were given. Based on the given complaints, no points were given out,” Shah said. “None of them actually violated anything in the elections code and, therefore, there was no basis to award any points or infractions.”

Penalties, or points, are given to campaigns based on infractions they commit against the elections code. Three levels of penalties exist: three, six and nine points for each respective level. If a candidate earns nine points, they are disqualified from the election. 

Shah said the elections site originally listed eight complaints but one was removed due to the timing of it being filed.

“We did get eight complaints in, but according to the elections code complaints need to be filed within a certain time period of when the incident occurred,” Shah said. “Once I looked into it, one of them actually wasn’t valid anymore because it happened over a week before it was sent in, and therefore the complaint just gets voided automatically.”

DeGravina said the complaints were made over logos and copyright issues.

“There were two incidences ... but five complaints were drawn from it,” DeGravina said. “When it came to things like logos and stuff like that, (it’s) nothing too drastic — just making sure we’re keeping everyone accountable.”

DeGravina said that her ticket was not attempting to disqualify Benedict, as characterized by Delabarre in earlier comments to The State Press. 

“The complaints that we filed would not have been enough to get them disqualified,” DeGravina said. 

Brittany Benedict said her complaints were substantially the same as DeGravina’s. They filed a complaint over a pitchfork logo used in Facebook posts.

“The complaints we filed would have disqualified (DeGravina), but that wasn’t necessarily the intent,” Benedict said.

Both Benedict and DeGravina stressed that the complaints were not solely intended to disqualify the other ticket.

Benedict said the complaints filed against her were over the use of the ASU USG logo, which a USG senator had used in a headshot used with her endorsement of the Benedict ticket.

Reach the reporter at maatenci@asu.edu or follow @mitchellatencio on Twitter.

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