A complaint was filed to the Election Supervisory Board on Friday evening by engineering fifth year Amber Camilleri in response to Friday’s Daily Texan article regarding the emails from the Isaiah Carter-Sydney O’Connell campaign that appear to have violated the 2016 Student Government Election Code.
Carter’s campaign sent emails to multiple freshmen whose contact information he acquired from a list of students who expressed interest in SG during summer orientation 2016. Carter has access to this list because of his position as Chief of Staff of SG.
The emails, sent three weeks before the sanctioned campaign period, were all identical and asked the students, who say they do not know Carter personally, to join his campaign. Catrin Watts, chair of the Election Supervisory Board, said such emails could constitute a violation of the Election Code.
Camilleri did not receive one of the emails, but said she was outraged by the reports of possible violations and wanted to file a complaint.
“I’m just a student who’s tired of seeing corruption in our Student Government campaigns,” Camilleri said. “I’d like to see a fair campaign happen for once.”
There will be a public hearing today at 5:30 p.m. in SAC 3.106, where each party will be given five minutes to present information and evidence, followed by a three-minute rebuttal from each side and closing with a period of questioning from the Board.
“Either the Board will find that there is a violation of the code, and we will debate the type of violation it is, or if there’s not sufficient evidence to find a violation, then there is no violation and we close the case,” Watts said.
The specific part of the code in question, Section 8.2, states “All candidates are prohibited from campaigning … before the sanctioned campaign period … However, this prohibition does not include the personal individual recruitment by a candidate of individual team members.”
Carter said last week the emails did not violate any Election Code because he had personally met many of the students while tabling for SG during orientation. Carter also said he urged his campaign team to send the emails individually and that he is certain his team followed his guidelines.
Carter did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.