The Elections Committee voted on Nikita Patel, CSOM ’17, and Joseph Arquillo’s, LSOE ’17, appeal to be added to the presidential ballot on Wednesday night. The Committee declined their request to extend the nomination deadline, which was originally set for Jan. 29. No other teams can be added to the ballot at this point.
In the appeals process, the Elections Committee can only look at new information and whether its original decision was conducted fairly, according to Rachel Mills, co-chair of the Elections Committee and MCAS ’16. The only new information that the Committee received were emails from students in support of Patel and Arquillo’s campaign. The Committee decided that the new information was not enough to change the original decision of the Committee, Mills said.
Earlier, the Committee said that Patel and Arquillo’s run would not be fair to the campaigns that turned in their nomination materials on time, including 250 student signatures. The Committee also believes that there is sufficient competition between the two remaining teams—Anthony Perasso, LSOE ’17, and Rachel Loos, MCAS ’18; and Olivia Hussey, current UGBC executive vice president and MCAS ’17, and Meredith McCaffrey, MCAS ’17.
“After careful consideration, the Elections Committee has decided to uphold our previous decision to not extend the presidential nomination deadline,” the Elections Committee said in an email. “We feel that it is important to stand by the rules outlined in The Elections Code.”
Patel and Arquillo submitted their written appeal to the Elections Committee Tuesday after the Elections Committee had originally decided to not allow new teams to join the race on Monday evening.
The Elections Committee’s original discussion came after Elizabeth Foley, MCAS ’17, and Joseph McCarthy, CSOM ’17, dropped out of the presidential race on Monday due to personal matters. In a statement about their withdrawal, Foley and McCarthy encouraged the Elections Committee to accept other potential teams to join the race to allow for a more competitive election. In the duo’s statement, Foley and McCarthy alleged that the campaign of Perasso was only centered around satire and had no real intention of winning.
“Upon our removal from candidacy, we support the nominations of other campaign teams to ensure a competitive election, as there is only one team with the genuine intention of holding office,” Foley and McCarthy’s statement said.
Foley and McCarthy also endorsed the nomination of Patel and Arquillo, who both worked on their campaign prior to the team’s withdrawal. Patel had previously received 250 student signatures when she originally planned to run for president on a separate team.
“As students ourselves, we understand the unfortunate nature of the circumstances around this election,” the Committee’s statement said. “However, as an unbiased committee we cannot create an exception, nor is it our responsibility to assess the content or platform of any campaign teams.”
Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor