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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    DQed candidate appeals penalties

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    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    The executive vice presidential candidate who was disqualified just before winning the most votes for that position said she appealed because the violation was out of her control.

    Jordan Miller, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona elections commissioner, said she received Sen. Rhonda Tubbs’ appeal at 1 p.m. yesterday and is required to give her a ruling by 1 p.m. today in order to follow elections code procedure.

    After being prohibited from campaigning Monday because of two major elections code violations, Tubbs received two minor violations in the next two days. The complaint reported that there was a solicitation to vote for Tubbs on someone’s America Online instant messenger profile, which was considered campaigning.

    Tubbs said there were other candidates’ names on the profile, but she didn’t know whose account it was.

    In the appeal, Tubbs said, she argued that requiring a candidate to change the content of someone else’s online profile goes against freedom of speech.

    “”That’s too much pressure to put on any one candidate,”” Tubbs said, adding that such rules have caused candidates to be scared of running aggressive campaigns.

    If Tubbs, a finance senior, isn’t satisfied with the outcome of Miller’s investigation, she can then appeal the matter to the Associated Students of the University of Arizona supreme court.

    Tubbs said she was informed at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday that she was disqualified, about three hours before it was announced that she won the most votes for executive vice president in the primary election.

    Sen. Patrick Cook, who also had to stop campaigning Monday, came in third for the most votes for executive vice president, but he was able to advance because Tubbs had been removed from the race.

    Miller said that neither Tubbs nor Cook would be allowed to post any more campaign materials around campus, but they are allowed to keep up approved campaign material that was posted before they were penalized.

    Miller said all candidates must have control of their campaigns and know whether anyone directly related to their campaign has violated the elections code, adding that the candidate will incur a violation regardless of the situation.

    “”All candidates are held responsible for the actions relating to their campaign,”” Miller said, adding that a large campaign staff could be a big risk for accruing violations from unorthodox campaigning.

    But Miller said there’s no way to ensure that someone has committed such a violation because the elections commission goes by the honor system.

    “”We try to hold the candidates accountable for their actions,”” said Miller, a marketing senior.

    Miller said she normally investigates matters through anonymous reports, but there can often be a gray area in deciding if a violation occurred.

    “”All elections code violations are investigated thoroughly,”” Miller said.

    Miller said if a rival candidate posted campaign material with the opposing candidate’s name on it without his or her knowledge, there would have to be at least two witnesses to confirm whether such a violation occurred.

    The other violation Tubbs received this week was for sending an unsolicited e-mail through the Arizona Ambassadors Listserv. The first minor violation she received was on the first day of campaigning when someone on her staff put a flier on a “”department use only”” bulletin board, Tubbs said.

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