In an unprecedented move, the ASG election commission issued newly inaugurated ASG President Christina Cilento and Executive Vice President Macs Vinson an election violation Monday for receiving exclusive vote count information and using it to mobilize the vote on Election Day, sending the case to the Rules Committee to determine an official punishment.
The violation occurred when a member of the ASG election commission, SESP sophomore Kevin Corkran, leaked information about the vote count to Cilento and Vinson at 12 p.m. and then again at 4 p.m., one hour before polls closed. Cilento did not immediately report either leak, and when initially questioned, said the campaign had only received information once.
In a statement released Monday, the election commission ruled that Cilento and Vinson were in violation of section 1e of the election guidelines: “Campaign personnel may not serve on the Election Commission.” These include “individuals working on behalf of a candidate.” Because Corkran leaked information to Cilento twice, the campaign used the information and the candidate did not disclose that they had received it, the commission ruled that the student who leaked it was working on behalf of the candidate.
The Rules Committee will now decide on a punishment, which according to ASG guidelines could include “censure, probation, removal from office, resignation, public apology and admission of guilt.”
Election Commissioner Lauren Thomas said this was the first time in the history of ASG that the winning presidential candidates have been issued a violation. Corkran has since resigned from ASG.
Cilento said she disagreed with the election commission's decision as she believes the leak was a violation by an individual member of the election commission, and not by her campaign. However, she said she will comply with any investigations the Rules Committee undertakes.
“While we disagree of the decision of the election commission to issue the violation, we have nothing but respect for Lauren Thomas, the entire election commission and this whole process.” Cilento said. “We look forward to sharing our perspective in any proceedings that may follow and will cooperate fully with the Rules Committee when that happens.”Joji Syed, the losing presidential candidate, expressed disappointment that a violation occurred and a desire to move forward.
“While I continue to hear from tons of frustrated supporters, at this point I trust the Rules Committee will handle the situation quickly and fairly, so ASG can eventually move forward from this incident," Syed said.