Three campaign violation cases filed in student body presidential race

Moss Brennan, Reporter

In a contentious student body presidential election, three total campaign violations have been filed by the Mullins.Martin and Davis.Hunter campaigns in the SGA Elections Court.

The Davis.Hunter campaign filed two violations against the Mullins.Martin campaign. One case is being heard Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

The Davis.Hunter campaign is accusing presidential candidate Devin Mullins and vice presidential candidate Karolyn Martin of violating the declaration and limited campaigning periods in an article run by The Appalachian. The article broke news that Mullins would run for student body president with a source close to campaign before the declaration period, a set period of time candidates can officially declare their candidacy.

“I definitely don’t want e-court cases to be the focus in the face of a global pandemic. I certainly don’t want to take more of people’s time than necessary,” said Michael Davis, candidate for student body president. “However, if we are going to continue with our election, we still have to ensure that one ticket isn’t being held to a different standard than the other two.”

The other violation filed by the Davis.Hunter campaign accuses Mullins.Martin of creating an Instagram account for their campaign too early. Davis said a third violation will be filed soon.

The Devin.Mullins campaign filed a violation accusing the Davis.Hunter campaign of malicious campaigning. The Devin.Mullins campaign argued that an Instagram post shared by the Davis.Hunter campaign page was malicious.

The post included multiple statements like “there are people who use SGA for an ego boost” and “wasting everyone’s time trying to take money away from students who are putting in work to make our university better.”

“I personally do not believe that negative and malicious campaigning is necessary to win an election. Nobody running or supporting a candidate needs to go after the content of other’s character or the spirit with which they do their work to make a better Appalachian State,” Mullins said. “That is not the campaign I am running and, even if we begin to fall behind in this election, we will not resort to that because it simply isn’t right.”

The hearing on the violation against Davis.Hunter will take place April 9 at 5 p.m.

According to the SGA Constitution, the elections court is “responsible for adjudicating and resolving questions related to alleged violations of elections code and the elections bylaws, actions of individuals, interpretation of policies, and other related matters in accordance with these bylaws.”

“I have confidence in the selected Election Court chair and the Election Court in their ability to come to a fair and just decision regarding the cases filed,” said Brigitte Kelly, director of elections.