Two MSA slates faced potential infractions, but both were dropped
The two slates were the Turner/Evans slate and the Earl/Schafer slate.
Feb. 16, 2016
Two slates in the MSA special election were almost issued infractions over the weekend, but neither were carried through.
The first infraction was to Sam Turner and Clay Evans. Turner/Evans announced their candidacy on social media on Feb. 3 before the campaigning period began on Feb. 15.
Board of Elections Commissioners Chairwoman Bridget Everson gave them an infraction for campaigning before the starting date.
However, the infraction was later repealed due to an unintentional miscommunication. Turner/Evans campaign manager Madison McMillian reached out to the BEC for clarification on whether the slate could contact organizations before the campaign period to schedule events during the campaign period on Feb. 14.
Under the “Infractions and Penalties” section of the BEC handbook, “campaigning prior to the start of the allowed campaigning period” is listed as one of the possible reasons for an infraction.
Everson said the slate could not contact organizations before the start date. However, after consulting with her vice chairs, they “agreed that they didn’t see anything wrong with this form of contact.”
Everson emailed the slate 31 minutes later stating that “we have decided that slates are allowed to contact chapters and orgs but are unable to speak with them until campaigning begins.” The email was never delivered due to a server error, Everson said. She found out the next day that they never got the message.
During this time, the Sean Earl and Tori Schafer slate began contacting organizations. Since the Turner/Evans slate was under the impression that they could not, this put them at a disadvantage.
Everson got permission from Chief Justice Landen Smith to revoke Turner/Evans’ infraction to compensate for their disadvantage in their delayed contact with organizations.
Earl/Schafer also were issued an infraction because they posted photos to their Empower MU Instagram account about one week before campaigning started. However, the slate said that their Instagram account was private so no one could see it.
Everson said that since Facebook pages and campaign websites can be set up in advance privately, Instagram will be treated the same way. The infraction was not confirmed.