Student Government Elections: Candidates still don’t know who officially has won

Two weeks after the elections, the official results haven’t yet been released.

Elections Board marketing director, Ryan Klimar, sits with approximately 30 contestations in front of him. The official results can not be released until all contestations are heard. Photo by Gregory Cox | Managing Editor

Elections Board marketing director, Ryan Klimar, sits with approximately 30 contestations in front of him. The official results can not be released until all contestations are heard. Photo by Gregory Cox | Managing Editor

Gregory Cox, Managing Editor

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The candidates of this year’s Student Government presidential and gubernatorial elections are still in the dark almost two weeks after the elections.

Although the unofficial results have been released, official results cannot be confirmed until all contestations — complaints against candidates violating campaigning rules — are heard.

So far, there are 13 major and two minor violations against the Kathryn Edmunds and Clayton Sims ticket. There is one major violation and one minor violation against the Maya Clark and Laneesia Harmon ticket.

The Elections Board planned to meet Thursday to hear the rest of these contestations, but could not because of a lack of public notice. This violates Florida’s open government and public record laws.

“I feel it’s kind of ridiculous, the student body has spoken,” Michael Cairo, the unofficial winner of the presidential elections said about the delay in results. “It’s time to get this done.”

Five more contestations against Cairo his running mate, Juliana Walters, are still pending.  After the official results are released, the winner will take office May 1, according to Cairo.

Because this meeting — or lack thereof —  and others by the Elections Board, failed to comply with the Student Government elections laws and Florida law, the Student Government court recommended the removal of elections chair Gregory Barber on March 4.

The chief justices recommended the removal of the elections chair Gregory Barber. Photo by Gregory Cox | Managing Editor

The chief justices recommended the removal of the elections chair Gregory Barber. Photo by Gregory Cox | Managing Editor

Former elections chair Carter Lewis filed a petition with the court to remove Barber on Feb. 26, arguing he failed to do his job as elections chair.

Wanting to pursue additional evidence before making a ruling, the court reconvened Friday but Barber did not attend. He told the court just one hour prior to the hearing that he “wouldn’t be able to make it,” according to Chief Justice Kahlil Ricketts.

Barber did not get back to the University Press for comment as of publication time.

“He admitted to breaking the statutes, he claimed that he was holding meetings and was staying in contact with everybody,” said Seamus Maloney, the Boca Raton associate justice. “But he isn’t here to provide proof for that so there is no way for us to know.”

The recommendation from the court will now be sent to the Student Government Senate, which will vote on whether or not to remove Barber later this month.

Gregory Cox is the managing editor of the University Press. If you would like to contact him regarding this or other stories, he can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter.