The Georgetown University Student Association Constitutional Council instructed the GUSA Election Commission to include five write-in slots instead of one on the election ballot, following a petition Wednesday evening by write-in candidates Reed Howard (SFS ’17) and Courtney Maduike (SFS ’17).

“A ballot with one write-in slot would have severely limited student choice.  Given the ambiguity of the bylaws, the CC chose to protect choice and instruct the EC to add more write-in slots,” GUSA Constitutional Council Chief Justice Josh Shinbrot (COL ’16) wrote in a text message to The Hoya.

The Constitutional Council is tasked with interpreting all cases under appeal, and all decisions made by the council are binding. If the party presents a case to the Election Commission and disagrees with its decision, the party can then appeal to the council.

Howard and Maduike petitioned the Election Commission on Tuesday to include their names on the ballot, and after the commission ruled against them, the candidates appealed to the Constitutional Council who ruled in favor of the commission’s original decision.

On Wednesday evening, the council heard the appeal for a second petition from Howard and Maduike requesting extra write-in slots on the ballot.  The council ruled against the Election Commission’s original decision in favor of adding extra write-in slots.

Shinbrot said that given the last-minute nature of the case, the Constitution Council will take a few days to draft the opinion urging the senate to modify the bylaws, which will be written as justification for the council’s ruling Wednesday evening.

Voting for this year’s GUSA executive elections began Wednesday night at 10 p.m.

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