Students who voted Tuesday afternoon might have been confused by the fact that there were two slates with the name Conscious on the ballot. Those who voted in the morning did not have this problem. The ballots were replaced mid-day.
Let’s be clear here. In the afternoon there were three parties: Conscious, Conscious Concordia and Conscience of Interest. The last two are composed of former Evolution party members. Conscious, the established party who has run under this name for the past four years, are protesting the fact that the other two are on the ballot.
Last Friday night, Noah Stewart, a VP Loyola affairs for Conscious, said that his slate protested Conscious Concordia’s right to run in the election as the name was so similar to theirs.
Chief Electoral Officer Danniella Brazel went to the Judicial Board to ask for clarifications about the Standing Regulations. According to a rule called the Grace Period, which was established 4 years ago after an annulled election, for a period of 24 hours before polls until the end of election, no parties or individuals can be added or removed from the ballot.
The Judicial Board reviewed all the rules last night and decided it was within her powers to strike them from the ballot.
“They decided in this case that having a fair and equal election trumped the grace period, and it was within the CEO’s power to take them off,” said Stewart.
Once Brazel was informed, sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning, she took Conscious Concordia off the ballot and the ballot went to polls minus the slate.
When lawyers threatened, presumably on behalf of CC, she then put them on for a second time, and had all the ballots replaced at the polls at about 1pm this afternoon.
“It is not clear what will happen, I think all the votes will be included, but no decision has been made,” said Stewart.
Some students in who voted in the afternoon were confused by the two parties with the same name.
Ian Greathead, Biology major, was a little worried he’d voted for the wrong party. When asked what he thought about the similar slate names on the ballot, he said, “I don’t think I picked the wrong one. I would like to look at it again.”
Having decided to vote for Conscious, he picked up a ballot again to make sure he hadn’t picked Conscious Concordia instead. “What if I did? I would be very upset. There’s a $5 million budget and if it were to go into the wrong hands…”
Steve Wallace, a third year student, said it wasn’t good that Conscious Concordia had entered so late and “it breeds confusion when it’s not a distinct name.”
There is now a chance that the elections might be annulled. The Concordian will follow-up on this story next week.
Because it is illegal for the polling clerks to tell you the difference between Conscious, Conscious Concordia and Conscience of Interest, the Concordian has decided to outline the three parties and what they represent. On the electoral ballot the parties appear as follows:
3- Conscience of Interest
President: Levine, Justin
VP Everything Good looking: Guindi, Sasha
VP Anti Social: Hermelin, Ian
VP Sasha Guindi; Singer, Samantha
This party is a joke slate run by Justin Levine, a former Evolution party member.
President: Turnin, Svetla
VP Academic and Advocacy: Fawaz, Dania
VP Clubs and Services: Gindi Shahenda el
VP External Affairs: Mayrand, Lucie
VP Finance: Messiri, Mostafa el
VP Loyola Affairs: Stewart-Ornstein, Noah
VP Campaigns: Schwartz, Chris
VP Student life: Tshikuka, Samson
VP Internal affairs and Administration: Voutou, Anastasia “Taz”
This is the original Conscious party that has been campaigning for the last two weeks.
6- Conscious Concordia
President: Zand, David
VP Academic: Lewy, Jennifer
VP Finance: Kmiec, Andrej
VP External: Bougis, Michel
This is the phantom slate that was contested. The party has not postered or participated in any of the debates. It was removed from the ballot Monday night. It was not on the ballots Tuesday morning. It was re-placed on them Tuesday afternoon.