University Board of Elections asks McDaniel to temporarily cease campaigning
Miscommunication prompts Student Council presidential candidate to begin campaigning before start date
The University Board of Elections Monday asked third-year College student Eric McDaniel, Student Council’s director of university relations, to temporarily cease his campaign for Student Council president until Feb. 4 when the official campaign season starts.
McDaniel began a campaign for Student Council president last Monday, and was contacted by the elections board later that same day and asked to stop. He says a conversation with Dean Citro, who oversees the elections board, left him with the impression that campaigning could begin at any time. “[Citro said that] UBE did not govern when candidates could begin,” McDaniel said.
The elections board was created in 2003 to regulate election process activities, including setting the election calendar and regulating the online voting system.
To kick off his campaign, McDaniel altered his campaign page on Facebook from last year to advertise his presidential run, including a new poster and a video, before being told he was operating in violation of UBE guidelines. “It wasn’t a reprimand or a punishment, but [I was asked to] please hold off until next Monday,” he said.
The elections board is allowing McDaniel to keep material already uploaded to run on his Facebook page and personal website, but he is not allowed to upload any additional materials or further campaign in any way until the campaign start date.
In cases of campaign controversy the elections board can hold panels in which the candidate appears before three board officers to discuss disciplinary actions. “But none of that even came into the conversation,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel said he did not deliberately attempt to violate any regulations.
“I really do want to go through this campaign in good faith and fairly, and with a lot of thought, to make sure that everyone has had an equal opportunity to pursue this,” he said. “This was born of a misunderstanding.”