Council Rules Against Howard-Maduike Ticket’s Appeal to Appear on Ballot

The Georgetown University Student Association Constitutional Council rejected Reed Howard (SFS ’17) and Courtney Maduike’s (SFS ’17) appeal to be placed on the executive election ballot yesterday.

Howard and Maduike appealed to the GUSA Election Commission that it does not have the authority to set deadlines for submitting registration forms and that the bylaws do not require candidates to attend a mandatory meeting to receive a registration form. The petition was originally submitted Sunday.

After the Election Commission denied their request, Howard and Maduike appealed the decision to the Constitutional Council.

GUSA Constitutional Council Chief Justice Josh Shinbrot (COL ’16), who serves on the three-person council with Justices Victor Malof (SFS ’17) and Natalie Brown (SFS ’17), said the Election Commission does have implicit authority to set deadlines in order to ensure a fair election.

“That power is obviously implicit, because if you don’t have a deadline then what you have is the potential for individuals who are interested in running to submit their candidacy up to 11:59:59 before the election, and actually if you don’t allow them to set a deadline at all, that means that people could theoretically file candidacy forms throughout the election,” Shinbrot said.

Shinbrot also said the GUSA bylaws give the Election Commission the freedom to decide how to distribute the candidacy form.

“What I ultimately argue is that the bylaws essentially leave it up to the Election Commission to decide how they want to deal with the distribution of this candidacy form,” Shinbrot said. “And if the Election Commission chooses to use a pre-election meeting as a conduit to access this candidacy form, they’re able to do so.”

Maduike wrote in an email to The Hoya that she appreciated the Constitutional Council’s decision to review the case.

“Students, including current GUSA President and Vice President Joe Luther (COL ’16) and Connor Rohan (COL ’16), expressed concern regarding the single ticket race and were looking for additional options for the student body,” Maduike wrote. “I appreciate and respect the time and effort the Constitutional Council spent reviewing our case in contrast to the dismissive responses we received from the Election Commission.”

Shinbrot said Reed and Maduike can still run a potentially successful write-in campaign.

“They can run a write-in campaign — we’ve seen successful write-in campaigns in the senate in the past,” Shinbrot said. “In the senate there have even been cases where candidates have beat people who are on the ballot, so I don’t think that it’s a death sentence so to speak if they’re not allowed ballot access.”

 

Hoya Staff Writers Mallika Sen and Christian Paz contributed to reporting.

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