This all began three weeks ago.
Three weeks ago allegations of voter fraud were brought against Sope Ladapo and Michael Thompson. The complaints were heard by the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) elections committee resulting in Ladapo and Thompson receiving six sanction points, which disqualified them from the election.
Ladapo and Thompson then filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Student Governance. The court overturned the elections committee's sanctions, but the USG legislature had to vote to accept or reject the court’s ruling. This was the result of conflicting language in the USG elections code and the USG constitution regarding the court’s power. In the elections code, final authority is given to the court, but in the constitution final authority is given to the legislature.
At noon today the 28 USG senators in attendance voted to approve the court’s recommendation. By accepting the court’s recommendation Sope and Thompson were officially victorious in the 2016 USG presidential elections.
Each senator had to sign in to receive a paper ballot. There was some confusion as to what senators needed to write on their slips. Writing “yay” would support the supreme court’s ruling and place Ladapo and Thompson in office. Writing “nay” would support overruling the court’s recommendation.
Ballots were kept for the record. Some senators expressed concern about the legitimacy of the vote count and chose to watch the ballots be counted at the front of the room.
The vote was 17-11 in favor of approving the court’s ruling.
Collier v. Sope is over and many of the parties involved expressed relief at the prospect of the USG being able to move forward with their work.
“I feel like I’m gonna go home and cry for three hours, honestly. I’m relieved. And the work starts now,” Ladapo said.
“I’m excited to have a ticket that we can start moving forward with and start training them and working together,” USG president Niki DaSilva said.
Some members of the USG expressed hope that legislation would be passed in the fall to better address situations like these in the future.
“As mentioned today in our meeting, there’s some outdated information. This is the first year that this position has been contested, so there definitely’s gonna be revisions coming up in our constitution to reflect a more solid [legislative] piece,” senator Zach McClure said.