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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


ASUA court grants appeals

ASUA presidential candidates James Allen and Daniel Hernandez have each successfully appealed one of the election violations levied against them by Elections Commissioner Michael Colletti.

The successful appeals bring the total number of violation checks for each candidate to nine, one below the threshold for automatic disqualification.

The Supreme Court for the Associated Students of the University of Arizona overturned the two election checks Allen received for allegedly leaving campaign materials in the U-Mart, a violation of the elections code. The court upheld all other violations Allen was charged with.  

“”I took the process extremely seriously,”” said Allen, a junior majoring in political science and business administration. “”I wanted to handle it with professionalism, and I’m pleased that some of the checks were removed.””

Allen said he chose to appeal the violations he did because he thought there were problems and inconsistencies with them. He said he “”had to go in there and fight”” for what he believes is right.

Allen said he had not spoken with Colletti since the decision was handed down but that he thinks it is “”time to move forward.””

“”My inclination, my hope is that he would not (seek disqualification),”” Allen said. “”He’s in a position where the votes can count, where the students have spoken, and I’m hoping for the best. It’s his choice, and I know that he’s looking at it and trying to do what is best. I trust his discretion.””

Colletti still has the authority to disqualify Allen should he choose to, though he expressed frustration that under tenants of the elections code any decision he makes can be appealed to the Supreme Court.  

“”Now it is more frustration then anything, because I do believe the court made the right decision in deferring to the commissioner as the commissioner would know the entirety of the elections process and complaints better than anyone,”” Colletti wrote in an email.

Allen said he would not appeal again if Colletti decides to uphold his disqualification, which would trigger a new special election for ASUA president.

Allen also said he thinks students should focus on how hard he will work to represent them, not the violations of which he was accused.

“”I worked extremely hard,”” Allen said. “”I handled this process with professionalism, and that’s something I would emulate in my presidency, if I am elected. This election for me was not about cheating or breaking the rules. It was about honest hard work and sleepless nights.””

The court also overturned the violation that alleged Hernandez, a political science junior, and members of his slate sent unsolicited text messages to random phone numbers. Hernandez declined comment on the issue, citing time constraints and prior commitments.

Colletti said he was “”shocked”” and “”disappointed”” at the court’s decision.

“”I don’t think it’s right, to be honest,”” Colletti said. “”I think I did the best that I could and made the right decisions.””

Colletti later said his disappointment was directed more at the elections code than it was the court.

Colletti now has 24 hours to determine if he will seek to disqualify the candidates.

“”That’s something I have to look into,”” Colletti said. “”I have to weigh all of the options and see what’s best.””


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