Archive for March, 2010

[UPDATED] Election likely to wrap up tomorrow

Posted in elections on March 31, 2010 by Brandon

UPDATE: I’ve just learned from Chief Justice Mike Burdman that Collene O’Reilly appealed the election board’s decision from Monday night, too — so the court will have to hear those as well, and not just decide whether Elections Chair Fred Moldt deserves a slap on the wrist.

The election season that began in January may conclude by noon tomorrow, and that’s no April Fool’s joke.

Collene O’Reilly‘s ticket filed several contestations to the election last Friday — after the deadline for doing so, according to Ayden Maher and the findings of the Election Board.

The board met Monday night to decide whether the complaints were turned in on time, and decided: not so much. They sent out a memo about that posted here. The relevant part, decided by a 2-1 vote:

The contestation packet submitted by the United ticket does not meet the requirements of 318.200, thereby invalidating the contestations brought forth to the Elections Board.

318.200 just says that election disputes must be filed by 5 p.m. the Friday after results are posted. In other words, the accusations were too little, too late.

One complaint, however, still stands and holds up the formal announcement of the student body president-elect. It’s a complaint against the board itself, which claims the board accepted late the VP application from Evan Konecky, Maher’s running mate. I spoke with both on Monday.

Konecky said it was turned in late because he was attending a funeral service. Maher added that the complaint should be thrown out, because it relates to the initial election and not the run-off. If it were filed after the initial election, Maher says, their opponents would’ve had a better case.

Of course, the board can’t hear a case against itself, so the complaint is sent now to the student court, chaired by Chief Justice Mike Burdman.

Burdman sent out an e-mail this morning announcing the hearing tomorrow:

This Thursday, April 1st at 11:30 am, we will be holding a meeting of the student court in the senate work room on the Boca Raton Campus.  The purpose of this meeting is to discuss an appeal of the decision of the election board made during the initial election of student body president and to decide if a hearing for the matter is in order.   This is an open meeting and members of both parties involved are allowed to attend.

I expect the meeting will be brief. Afterward, if O’Reilly does not appeal the decision to Student Affairs, the election is officially over.

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More Voters, Fewer Candidates = An Upset

Posted in elections on March 25, 2010 by Brandon

With greater voter turnout in the run-off for president, university-wide senator Ayden Maher has won in a surprising turnaround from the original election.

From the desk of SG adviser Heather Bishara earlier this morning:

Maher, Ayden & Konecky, Evan  55% – (904 votes)

O’Reilly, Collene & Forbes, Charles 45% – (748 votes)

Total: 1652 responses; 6.16% of student body.

Remember, in the original race, only 1429 students voted for president. At that time, sitting vice president Collene O’Reilly got 643 (45%) votes and Maher 536 (37.5%). FAU swim coach Adam Epstein got the remaining 250 (17.5%).

So it appears the people voting for Epstein went almost universally for Maher when forced to pick someone else. O’Reilly stayed at about 45% of the vote as in the original results, while adding Epstein’s percentage to Maher’s gives you the percentage he got here: 55%.

But it wasn’t just a straight-up matter of addition — even if you add the original Epstein voters to Maher’s, you end up 118 short of the 904 he got here. O’Reilly’s ticket also picked up 105 additional votes from before, close to the same number Maher gained. That these new voters were split pretty evenly also suggests to me that the only important factor that changed in this race was Epstein not being in it. Forced to choose, people preferred not to pick the incumbent O’Reilly.

It’s possible that a statement from losing governor candidate Boris Bastidas had something to do with the turnaround, too. Here’s an excerpt from a message he sent out via Facebook Tuesday afternoon, making an official endorsement:

I did not then and I will not now and I will not ever cave in to the status quo.

So I close in saying that I believe we have two extraordinary candidates for Student Body President and Vice President. But it is time for me to make a final choice.

I am endorsing Ayden Maher for Student Body President and Evan Konecky for Vice President.

If Bastidas’ supporters couldn’t get him into office, perhaps they figured they could at least get the guy he supports in. Of course, this is all conjecture. The only clear fact is that Maher has won — and even that’s not a given, because O’Reilly may file election contestations with the Election Board by Friday. If the board then deems it necessary, they can alter the results in a number of ways, including vote deductions and disqualification.

To be clear, anyone can file a contestation against any of the candidates: here’s the form to use if you saw anything sketchy going on. The date on it is now inaccurate — they’re due Friday, March 26 at 5 p.m.

Run-Off Now

Posted in elections on March 23, 2010 by Brandon

It’s now a full month after the original election for student body president and VP. The run-off, between Ayden Maher and Collene O’Reilly, is today and tomorrow. If you haven’t already, be sure to vote through MyFAU. Just click on the “Vote Now” tab.

But if you don’t know anything about the candidates and want to be a responsible voter, you can check out my original story here for some information about them.

O’Reilly’s ticket originally got 643 votes and Maher’s got 536. That’s really not a wide gap, given that Adam Epstein‘s ticket pulled in 250 votes. Since he’s not in the run-off, though, those voters might pick someone else or just not vote. They’ll probably be the deciding factor this time around, given the particularly low voter interest or awareness of elections this year.

Typically, run-offs get a much lower turnout than initial elections, but given the especially low number of voters this year — half of last year’s — it seems more likely these numbers won’t drop much. Every vote really will count.

643                O’Reilly, Collene & Forbes, Charles                45.00%

536                Maher, Ayden & Konecky, Evan                       37.51%

250                Epstein, Adam & Ebanks, Ryan                         17.49%

Dates for Run-off Set

Posted in elections, Thumbs Up on March 2, 2010 by Brandon

The run-off election for student body president will be March 23 and 24, according to SG Director Heather Bishara. She also said no contestations were filed with the election board, which is pretty unusual. Typically there are a number of complaints from candidates: things like how the other ticket had a dog wearing their T-shirt in the Breezeway and how Candidate Y’s posters were two inches too large. It could be that they’re “saving” their complaints for the run-off — but as Bishara tells it, only complaints relevant to the run-off period and not the initial election will be heard.

On a completely unrelated note, if you want to be FAU Lobbyist Jr., Student Body President Tiffany Weimar is offering students a free ride to and from Tallahassee to any takers. The catch is, they leave this Thursday morning at 1:30 a.m. and get back at midnight. But if you’re up for a spur-of-the-moment road trip to talk to Florida legislators about funding FAU, take advantage. The full e-mail:

Dear Students,

Be a part of a SG tradition!  Come to the capital and join the Rally in Tally on Thursday, March 4, 2010 at noon to lobby on behalf of FAU!  We have a bus going, which is free for students!  The bus will leave from the Student Union on Thursday at 1:30 AM and will return around midnight. This is a short 1 day trip, but is very important!  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to voice your concerns to our State Legislatures.

If you are interested in joining us, please email me at yourvoice@fau.edu with your name and contact number by Wednesday at 5pm. You also will need to complete a liability travel waiver (attached) and bring it to Room 215 in the Student Union (or fax it to 561-297-3771) before 6:00 PM on Wednesday.

Hope to see you there!

Tiffany Weimar

Student Body President