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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


ASUA executive vice presidential nomination put on hold

Darien Bakas

Executive Vice Presidential candidate Trey Cox reads the official ASUA results sheet following the announcement of the general election winners on Wednesday night. Cox was disqualified following five infractions of the ASUA elections code. 

Executive Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Trey Cox was disqualified from tonight’s ASUA elections following a reported five infractions of the ASUA Elections Code, one of which was an infraction regarding harassment. 

Sen. Cox’s disqualification is pending investigation and an appeals process, and no official winner was declared following the closing of the polls last night. If the Election Commissioner’s decision to disqualify Sen. Cox is upheld through the appeals process, Stefano Saltalamacchia could be named the winner. 

The strikes against Sen. Cox stem from accusations levied against him regarding illegal campaign practices, and more particularly accusations of hate-speech. All of which are explicitly illegal as per ASUA elections code chapter 5, section 5-3.01 

“Verbal or physical harassment or intimidation of other candidates or adherents will not be tolerated,” reads the code. “Such behavior will result in a strike or automatic disqualification and referral to the Dean of Students office …” 

This portion of the code was added this year, according to Elections Commissioner Diego Alvarez. 

In addition to accusations that involve the practice of door-to-door campaigning within campus dormitories and supplying electronic devices with which to vote with, it is reported that Sen. Cox — referring to Saltalamacchia — told potential voters that a “cross dresser” should not be the executive vice president.

Alvarez confirmed that these accusations of hate-speech were included as one of the five strikes against Cox. Only three strikes, or infractions of the Elections Code, are allowed before a candidate is disqualified.

“Given what has happened in the past, and given my view toward harassment, I just couldn’t let that slip,” Alvarez said. “So we took the evidence that we had, and we said that this is absolutely unacceptable because this wasn’t just one complaint — it was from various [complaints].”

While due to confidentiality issues it could not be confirmed where the complaints were coming from, Alvarez said that Saltalamacchia did not file all of them. A point that Saltalamacchia confirmed, saying that he only filed two against Sen. Cox.  

Saltalamacchia and his team first received word of Sen. Cox’s supposed illegal campaign activities Monday evening and reported them to the ASUA elections commission, who then placed Sen. Cox and his campaign under review.

The following morning, Saltalamacchia was told that in addition to the questionable campaign practices, Sen. Cox was also reportedly telling voters that a “cross dresser” should not be in office. 

“He violated the student code of conduct,” Saltalamacchia said, “and I don’t think that the ASUA advisers are going to take that lightly, and I’m happy that they didn’t.”

Sen. Cox’s disqualification is just preliminary, according Alvarez. He now has the opportunity to appeal the disqualification through the ASUA Elections Commission who then has 24 hours to make a decision to either uphold or strike down the initial disqualification.

The candidates — any of them — then have another opportunity to appeal the decision once again to the ASUA Supreme Court. The court then has the final say in the case and has the authority to strike down or uphold any decision made by the previous commissions. 

While not formally submitted at this time, Cox confirmed following the announcement of his disqualification that he will be appealing the decision, and added that he vehemently denies the accusations levied against him. 

“That’s clearly not true,” Cox said following the announcement, regarding the accusations against him. “I never said those things and I never set foot in the dorms.”

A video published to Facebook late Wednesday afternoon on Saltalamacchia’s campaign page shows Saltalamacchia accusing Cox and his team of not only the illegal campaign tactics, but of saying discriminatory remarks directed towards Saltalamacchia.

The video outlines the accusations levied against Cox by Saltalamacchia, and says that while campaigning in dormitories and sorority houses, he told voters that a “cross-dresser should not be the Executive Vice President,” according to the video. 

In the video, Saltalamacchia says that despite the claimed illegal campaign tactics, it is the attack on his identity that is most “disheartening.”

Without the disqualification, Cox would have won the election — pulling in 65.99 percent of the votes compared to Saltalamacchia’s 34.01 percent. 

“It sucks for everyone. Its not right and we’ll see what happens,” Alvarez said, regarding the impending investigation. ”We’ll let the process uncover, or vindicate or shore-up whatever the underlying truth or sequence of events may have been.”

Follow Sam Gross on Twitter.

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