Monday, September 24

USAC Election Board sanctions two candidates


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The undergraduate student government election board issued five sanctions between Saturday and Tuesday this week.

The election board investigated a total of 12 complaints and ruled to issue three sanctions for social media violations, one for a leafleting violation, and one for a media advertising violation.

The board sanctioned internal vice president candidate Vivy Li twice and Academic Affairs commissioner candidate Divya Sharma three times. Both candidates are running independently.

The election board oversees the Undergraduate Students Association Council elections, and issues sanctions to anyone who violates the USAC Election Code, which regulates election conduct.

On Saturday, Sharma received one sanction because one of his supporters did not tag the election board’s page or include the required hashtag on a campaign-related post on Facebook. The board said the post needed to be updated with disclaimers by 6 p.m. Sunday.

Candidates are required to tag the election board’s page and include the hashtag #USACVoiceYourVote on every social media post related to campaigning.

The board sanctioned Li on Monday because she did not tag the election board’s page on her Facebook post. The sanction mandated Li to update her post by tagging the election board by 3 p.m. Tuesday.

She received another sanction Monday for violating leafleting rules, which mandate that campaigning material can only be distributed during leafleting hours set by the election board. Li distributed campaigning material on Bruin Walk prior to leafleting hours, the complaint said.

Candidates can only leaflet between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Monday to Thursday next week, and between 7 a.m to 3 p.m May 5, said Grant Tobenkin, director of the Investigations Committee.

Li’s second sanction prohibits her from leafleting on campus Monday from noon until 3 p.m.

The board issued two more sanctions Tuesday night.

It sanctioned Sharma for a post made by one his supporters, which lacked the necessary hashtag. The board said the post must add the hashtag by 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Sharma was sanctioned again for media advertising violations. The board received a complaint suggesting that Sharma had engaged in paid media advertising prior to leafleting times.

The election code only permits any distribution of paid promotional material for campaigning purposes on leafleting days.

The board said Sharma’s post sponsoring a Facebook page called “Divya Sharma for Academic Affairs Commissioner” was a violation to media advertising restrictions, and should be taken down by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

The sanction also prohibited Sharma from social media campaigning from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday.


Click here for full coverage of the 2017 USAC elections.

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Kim is the assistant news editor for the campus politics beat. She was previously a contributor for the beat.


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