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Judicial board ordered to review petition against election board


Undergraduate Students Association Council voted to order the judicial board to review a petition against the election board Tuesday. (Axel Lopez/Daily Bruin)

Undergraduate Students Association Council voted to order the judicial board to review a petition against the election board Tuesday. (Axel Lopez/Daily Bruin)


This post was updated May 23 at 12:53 p.m.

The undergraduate student government voted to order the judicial board to review a petition against the election board at its council meeting Tuesday night.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council unanimously voted to override judicial board’s decision to not review Petition 18-6, filed by Matthew William Richard and Ramneek Hazrah, requesting the election board to issue a reasonable sanction for Sanction Case 59 and other complaint cases related to voter coercion and bloc voting.

The council tabled voting to certify the election results during its meeting last week after a judicial board hearing caused a weeklong delay. However, during Tuesday’s meeting, administrative representative Debra Geller and student union Director Roy Champawat said the election board had already certified the results and that the council’s certification vote is a formality.

The judicial board denied Petition 18-6 on May 17 because it found it to be too convoluted and added it does not have the capacity to hold a hearing for all of the alleged violations listed in the petition.

However, following the council’s Tuesday decision, the judicial board has decided to review Petition 18-6. The hearing will take place Friday at 6 p.m.

Sanction Case 59 alleged Bruins United candidates Bella Martin and Victoria Solkovits engaged in voter coercion. The election board originally found that the two candidates only violated an individual’s right to vote in privacy. However, following a petition to the judicial board, the board ordered the election board to reinvestigate complaint cases and issue a reasonable sanction for attempted voter coercion.

On May 15, the election board released the findings for its reinvestigation, stating it found in Sanction Case 59 that Martin and Solkovits engaged in voter coercion. However, following a decision by USAC Election Board Chair Jack Price, the board did not issue a sanction against Martin, who was elected a general representative, despite a majority of the board’s ad hoc investigative committee voting to disqualify her.

Nicholas Yu, chief justice of the judicial board and a former Daily Bruin staffer, said that although the board recommended the election board to issue a reasonable sanction, it did not abide by the judicial board’s orders.

“It’s been precedent that our orders have been fulfilled,” Yu said. “(Election board), by not following our order, brings a whole new scenario in which we have to deal.”

Price said that, based on the evidence the election board received since week five, he would not issue a sanction against the candidates found in Sanction Case 59 to have engaged in voter coercion, even if the judicial board recommended the election board to disqualify them.

“The election board will not make any disqualifications – considering evidences have not changed since week five – while I am still chair on this board,” Price said. “No sanction was the most reasonable sanction.”

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Morris is the 2018-2019 assistant News editor for the campus politics beat. She was previously a writer for the campus politics beat. She is also a second-year global studies student at UCLA.


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