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USA Elections Board suspends candidate for making false allegations about opponent

A candidate for facilities commissioner was sanctioned by the elections board for spreading false information on social media. (Ashley Kenney/Assistant photo editor)

By Julia Wu

May 3, 2021 1:37 p.m.

The Undergraduate Students Association Elections Board temporarily suspended a candidate from campaigning for spreading false allegations against his opponent over social media.

The elections board issued sanctions against Elijah Simas, a second-year electrical engineering student and candidate for the Undergraduate Students Association Council Facilities Commission, after Simas claimed on social media that his opponent Jane Ni – who is currently a Facilities Commission staff member – benefited from an internal survey within the commission.

On April 20, Simas said on Reddit that the Facilities Commission used an internal support survey to select Ni as the commission’s preferred candidate.

“When do you think the other FAC candidate, Jane Ni, will tell the student body that she was internally selected by current FAC staff to run in this election?” Simas said in the comment.

The elections board concluded on April 24 that the commission did not circulate an internal survey, adding that Simas’ implication potentially damaged Ni’s reputation as a candidate.

On April 26, the board issued its final sanctions against Simas, which included an eight-day suspension of campaigning. The board sanctioned Simas three times previously.

Simas said he based his initial comment on a conversation with outgoing commissioner and third-year geography student Sachi Cooper.

Simas posted a statement on Reddit on April 25 apologizing to Ni for falsely stating that Ni was internally selected by a support survey.

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