RUSA releases election report with voter statistics and appeal resolutions
Last week, the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) announced Suzanne Link, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, from One Rutgers as the assembly’s newest president. The assembly has since released its full elections report, featuring voter statistics and resolutions made to appeals submitted in the days of the election.
The number of student voters saw a significant uptick in the polls this year with 7,225 student votes cast — a 44.9 percent increase from the Spring 2017 election. Out of that total, 5,000 were taken in the first day, according to the report.
In this year’s election, 21.5 percent of the University’s student body voted — the highest turnout for RUSA elections as noted in all available data.
Link, alongside her vice president, Jaidev Phadke, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, received 34.9 percent of votes with the second-place candidates Jessica Tuazon, a School of Engineering junior, and Seth Wasserman, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, of uKnighted coming in at 26.91 percent.
Adeel Ahmed, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, and Nimra Jaqob of UnScrew RU 1616 came in at 22.99 percent while Vladimir Carrasco, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, and Jessica Resnick, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, of Rutgers United received 15.18 percent of student votes, according to the report.
The majority of students polled said they did not hear about the election through anyone and found out about it on their own — 1,740 students or 25.67 percent.
In a separate decision, the Appeals Committee ruled that “... a candidate who wished to amend their (Declaration of Intent) after the DOI deadline closed was referred to the Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee interpreted the amending of the position a candidate wished to run for as effectively a filing of a new DOI. Therefore this action was not allowed after the deadline,” according to the report.
Prior to the start of voting and after Link was announced as the assembly preliminary winning presidential candidate, seven appeals were filed against candidates from different tickets, according to The Daily Targum.
One appeal was filed against a candidate on grounds of fraud and related matters in endorsement. It was submitted by the Elections Committee upon the finding of probable cause by the committee. The Appeals Committee then contacted the candidate, who admitted to responsibility and was then disqualified, according to the report.
A separate appeal was filed by a candidate of uKnighted against a candidate from the One Rutgers Ticket. The deliberation that followed was two staged, the committee found in a 2-1 vote that the candidate from One Rutgers was in violation of Elections Code Article 5 section D subsection 4 and accepted $50 from non-Rutgers student sources.
“This established the guilt of the ticket. The second stage was an assessment of damages. In this stage the committee considered whether the violations committed by the One Rutgers ticket were so influential as to significantly affect the outcome of the Election,” the report stated.
In a unanimous decision (3-0), the committee voted that the violations were not so great as to offset the outcome of the election. While it acknowledged that One Rutgers did violate policy, the committee decided not to place any sanction on them as the violation was not great enough to alter the outcome.
“It should, however, be noted that the committee felt that the existing selection of (potential) sanctions was too narrow and an expanded array of sanctions should be considered for future elections,” the report stated.
The committee found that the standard of evidence for the remaining appeals was not met and thus they were unsubstantiated.
These include three appeals from a uKnighted candidate against a One Rutgers candidate for violation of budgetary rules, being unqualified for election and in conjunction with a different candidate allegedly being prohibited from running in the election.
There were also two appeals filed by a candidate on Unscrew RU against a candidate on uKnighted for an alleged violation of University policy and alleged violation of budgetary rules.
Yesterday was the soft deadline for the certification of election results and is required before results are deemed official.