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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Union: senate candidate violated election rules

Published: April 7, 2006
Section: News

Senator-at-Large candidate James L. Ansorge 09 has been accused of violating Student Union election rules, according to Union election commissioners.

Ansorges alleged violations during this rounds Union election stemmed from using non-Union approved campaign materials, wrote Union elections commissioners in an e-mail to The Hoot.

The election commissioners believe, however, that this was done by someone acting on his behalf, and that Ansorge did not mean for this violation to occur, continued the commissioners. Despite this, section 6 of the elections rules states that candidates must take responsibility for the actions of those that are helping their campaign.

As the result of the violation, the candidate currently has next to his name on the Unions voting web page, in red letters, This candidate has violated one or more election rules. This note was posted late Wednesday night, the evening before Round Two of the Senator-at-Large elections, where Ansorge ran against Andrew S.M. Brooks 09, Shreeya Sinha 09, and Megan D. Vijiarungam 09.

Its really unfortunate, said Ansorge. I think [the Union] could have handled it better.

According to Ansorge, who did sign a candidate contract explaining election rules, I was really sick the last two days I gave my friends eight fliers to post in Rosenthal. One of these friends, who began putting up posters in Rosenthal Quad, went around with a staple gunhe used about six staples for four posters, even stapling some posters to a residents door. The resident later filed a complaint to the Elections Commission, who then posted notice of Ansorges violation on the Student Union website.

My elections violation was the use, by a friend, of several staples to put up flyers in Rosenthal. I have since removed the staples, and flyers, personally, wrote Ansorge on his web site Thursday. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused residents. Ansorge added in an interview with The Hoot, Im lucky Im not disqualifiedtheyve been threatening to disqualify me.

The unexplained notice on the Union website, however, troubled Ansorge, along with the Unions response when he requested that the violation be explained on the Election web site: I requested that they release the nature of the violation, Ansorge said. They told me they couldnt do that, that they just could press a buttonthey said it was impossible to change. Ansorge added that several candidates had broken Union Election rules by hanging posters in inappropriate areas, in inappropriate numbers, or using non-Union approved materials: The only difference [for me] is that someone filed a complaint.

Another instance regarding election rules violations occurred in 2003, when current Union President Jenny Feinberg 07 was disqualified from running for the Senator of the Class of 2007 due to having a link to the voting site on her America Online Instant Messenger away message. While Feinberg was given a non-voting Senate position as a consolation, Ansorge may not be so fortunate with his campaign.

[The Commissioners] are reasonable people, stated Ansorge, but [the rules are] really strictits getting to the point where nobody knows if the best-qualified person wins.