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USAC election results to be announced Friday despite investigation

By Katie Shepherd

May 1, 2015 3:41 p.m.

Undergraduate student government election results will be announced at 8 p.m. Friday on the steps outside Kerckhoff Hall, despite the open investigation into LET’S ACT! campaign finances.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council voted on Tuesday for the Election Board to investigate leaked documents that allege the LET’S ACT! slate sold drugs and alcohol at fundraising parties, used student fees to finance its campaign and orchestrated a plan to fill appointments in the Community Programs Office with its members. LET’S ACT! members have confirmed the validity of some of the documents, but denied allegations that they fundraised illegally for any campaign.

The Election Code says results may not be announced until all investigations into election violations are closed, but Election Board Chair Shagun Kabra said he is choosing to release the results Friday for security reasons.

Kris Kaupalolo, Election Board adviser, and Mike Cohn, Director of Student Organizations, Leadership and Engagement, advised Kabra to announce results Friday to avoid having the information leaked early and to ensure student safety, Kabra said. A bomb threat found in the Student Activities Center on Thursday was one of the safety concerns that pushed the Election Board to announce results Friday. The threat, which was written in graffiti, did not say it was related to the USAC election. Police said they did not think the threat was credible.

If any candidates are disqualified after the investigation closes, Kabra said there will be a special election to fill seats if candidates have already been sworn into office.

He added that he thinks the investigation into LET’S ACT! finances will take a while to close because it involves previous years’ elections. The Election Board has already interviewed the LET’S ACT! candidates and leadership associated with this year’s election, and the portion of the investigation involving this year’s campaign is finished.

For allegations against the LET’S ACT! slate regarding the 2013 and 2014 elections, the Election Board does not have jurisdiction. Instead, USAC plans to look into the claims.

Compiled by Katie Shepherd, Bruin senior staff.

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