Opinion: Winning USG Presidential Campaign Disqualified from Elections, Win Vacated.


For those who don’t already know, IUPUI’s Undergraduate Student Government had an unprecedented public hearing over voter fraud complaints last night.

Mosopefoluwa Ladapo and Michael Thompson, known as “Sope and Thompson,” won the election by 31 votes. Shortly thereafter, Jamie Collier filed seven complaints against them; five complaints of campaigning in the library, one about online voting, and one complaint of voter fraud. Each complaint carried a number of infraction points, totalling at 19.

Eight points is enough to remove an elected official from their position. Collier recommended eight points for the seventh complaint alone.

The first five complaints were identical. When he spoke, Collier acknowledged that the complaints seemed repetitive and petty, but that he viewed them as a blatant disregard for the elections code. I thought that the sixth was forgettable. The seventh was a bit of a stretch.

My thoughts on the complaints were commonly shared. There were too many. It was easy to become suspicious of the intent behind filing so many.

The hearing wasn’t all that dramatic. The only time president Niki DaSilva used her gavel was when Ladapo heatedly addressed the audience instead of the committee. But even I felt the betrayal in Ladapo’s voice when he shifted from present to past tense when talking about Collier being his friend.

After about 23 hours and 50 minutes of waiting with exasperated breath, the results are in.

Ladapo and Thompson received a total of six points, just enough to save their skins. However, they had previously received two points for failing to submit a financial statement by the deadline. That brings their total to eight.

They’re gone.

 

As I read the statement, I could feel some surprise welling in my chest. I thought they made it, that they would just have to tread on thin ice for the duration of their stay in office. Those last two points threw me for a loop.

I was surprised to see that the committee threw the sixth complaint out. This decision wasn’t as cut and dry as I thought it would be. But the committee still gave Ladapo and Thompson just enough points to boot them.

The suspicion of the establishment is infectious.  

Talk of Ladapo and Thompson’s opposition ghostwriting the complaints has been swirling among their supporters. I received a number of “no comment” responses last night from people who I can only guess were in favor of Collier.

I can only speculate as to Collier’s motivations for filing so many complaints. I’ll probably never know what went on among the committee members in the last 24 hours.

But my gut tells me to be skeptical.