Students’ Association Senator and sophomore Ilana Kaplan-Shain filed an appeal last Tuesday, contesting the All-Campus Judicial Council’s decision to nullify the recent elections. This latest attempt to overturn ACJC’s ruling was unsuccessful.

“I’m disappointed that they chose not to overturn their ruling, but I feel that the ACJC is a fair body,” Kaplan-Shain said. “They chose to maintain their previous ruling, so they probably have a rationale.”Kaplan-Shain’s appeal was the third appeal to ACJC regarding their original decision about the problems which occurred over the course of the elections. The ACJC has acted consistently with their original opinion.

The ACJC’s appeals process is similar to that of the United States Federal Government. The Council will only hear an appeal if it is based on new evidence or the discovery of an error during a prior hearing.

“We only hear appeals when there is substantial new evidence,” ACJC Chief Justice and senior Rachel Morrissey said. “Once a decision is made, there needs to be substantial new evidence in order for us to change our ruling. In this case, the evidence didn’t change substantially with respect to anything that the ACJC had based the previous decision on.”

Associate Chief Justice and junior Erica Contini added, “Even if the appeal were based on more conclusive evidence our decision would not have changed, because there was no way to count votes other than online votes.”

The opinion of the ACJC regarding this appeal states, “The Council’s opinion is that the system itself is unconstitutional, as it does not guarantee every student the ability to vote.”

The ACJC’s ruling is not expected to have a major impact on the Senate in the long run. “After the new election finally happens, the Senate will be able to get back to business as usual, SA President and senior Lonny Mallach said. “We are entering the final budgeting period, and it is important to have all of the Senate’s members and be functioning well during that important time.”

Until the elections are held, old Senators are still considered Senators, so the body should still be able to function.

Specifics have yet to be determined regarding how the new round of elections will be conducted.

“The Election Committee is in the process of deciding our course of action for re-conducting elections,” senior and election committee chair Steve Duszlak said.

“Some early ideas we have are the use of paper ballots and e-mail ballots in addition to the online system. Also, we will be seeking the help of the Students’ Association Office this time.”

The election process is taxing to all parties involved.

“It is unfortunate that students have to campaign again and vote again,” Mallach said. “But, that is counterbalanced by the importance of a fair and open election where everyone can vote.”

Keesing can be reached at jkeesing@campustimes.org.



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