UPDATE: Complaint against Hansen-Oxenreider dropped

The complaint pertained to campaign fliers covering other MSA presidential slates' fliers.
Missouri Students Association presidential candidate Ben Hansen speaks during the final presidential debate Nov. 3. A complaint filed against Hansen and his vice presidential candidate, Kaitlin Oxenreider, was dropped Wednesday by MSA's Board of Elections Commissioners.

The Missouri Students Association's Board of Elections Commissioners chose to dismiss a complaint filed against the Hansen-Oxenreider MSA presidential slate Wednesday evening. The complaint, which pertained to Hansen-Oxenreider campaign fliers covering opposing slates' fliers, was submitted by an anonymous student Tuesday morning.

"After carefully inspecting both Strickland Hall and the Arts and Sciences Building, we the BEC Executives didn't detect any sign of tampering or illegal actions as listed in the BEC Handbook," the BEC said in the e-mail. "Furthermore, because the original informant failed to specify particular locations where these alleged actions occurred, and since this anonymous person requested not to be contacted further, we cannot continue this investigation."

Attached to the e-mail from the anonymous student were nine photos of Hansen-Oxenreider campaign fliers partially covering opposing slate’s campaign materials in various locations throughout campus.

According to the MSA BEC Handbook, the destruction, removal or obstruction of opponents’ campaign materials is considered an intentional infraction. Candidates lose campaigning privileges for one week after being charged with a first-offense intentional infraction.

“The pictures will show that campaign materials promoting Ben Hansen and Kaitlin Oxenreider obstruct the campaign materials of both other slates,” the student said in the e-mail. “The images will attest that the infraction occurred numerous times and was not restricted to one isolated instance. The BEC Handbook is very clear that any obstruction, destruction, or removal of opponents' campaign materials constitutes an intentional infraction. Moreover, the repeated nature of the offense speaks to the intentionality of the infraction in question.”

Hansen said he was notified of the impending charge Wednesday morning. He said he was asked by the BEC to submit a written statement in his defense in order to help the BEC make a ruling on the submitted infraction.

“They asked me for information, help, that they can use to make a decision,” Hansen said. “They requested information, a statement from me, so that I have an opportunity to make a case for myself before a decision is made.”

At 3:47 p.m. Monday the Josh Travis and Michelle Horan slate was sent an e-mail by the BEC informing them they had been charged with an intentional infraction for violating the mass e-mail policy outlined in the BEC Handbook. The official infraction attached to the e-mail states the infraction was found as intentional because of the nature of the e-mail that was sent and that the slate must cease campaigning immediately. The complaints were all submitted Monday.

“The Travis/Horan slate shall immediately discontinue all campaigning immediately upon the BEC sending this message to the slat,” the infraction states. “The slate shall then work to remove all campaigning materials immediately.”

Sloan and the rest of the BEC executive and non-executive members signed the infraction.

Travis said he was not asked to submit an explanation or statement in his defense before he received the e-mail informing him the decision had been made.

“We weren’t (asked to submit a defense statement)” Travis said. “Which I think is the funny part. We were completely voided of due process.”

Travis said all posters were taken down Monday night and the Elect Travis-Horan Facebook page and website were offline sometime Tuesday afternoon.

Sloan said the difference between the timelines followed in the two instances of alleged intentional infraction were due to evidential issues.

“With Travis and Horan all of the evidence was right in front of us, but this is taking a bit more time to gather evidence,” he said.

Online voting for the MSA presidential election is still scheduled to begin 6 p.m. Nov. 15.

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