Four candidates in the Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) sabbatical elections have been sanctioned by the Electoral Commission (EC) in a meeting today. The candidates involved are; Damien McClean, running for Welfare Officer; Úna Harty, running in the Communications and Marketing race as well as Bryan Mallon and Kevin Keane, who are both running for President.
The Chair of the Electoral Commission, Jenna Clarke-Molloy confirmed that Bryan Mallon had committed a major infraction, resulting in one of three possible strikes against the candidate. Speaking to Trinity News, Mallon said: “A comment that was not in the spirit of the election or in line with my own views, or in fact those of my campaign team at large, was put on social media. I appreciate that the EC have taken correct measures to ensure that this campaign is run fairly.”
Under a new policing system introduced for this year’s elections by the EC, any candidate who incurs three strike will be brought before the Electoral Commission and a member of the law school, and potentially taken off the ballot. The EC, who runs the annual elections, decides on whether a rule break is a major or minor infraction. Minor infractions can result in non-strike punishment, which can include a temporary ban from campaigning either online or in person.
Keane committed a minor infraction and was not given any punishment. Speaking to Trinity News, Keane said: “It was just a procedural thing. The team has been a little bit unsure of EC procedure and they (rule infractions) just added up.”
Damien McClean and Úna Harty have not been awarded any strikes. McClean was caught wearing a campaign t-shirt outside the official campaign area of the Hamilton and Arts Building while Harty’s campaign put two posters on one noticeboard in the Hamilton. Both will be banned from campaigning for one hour on Monday.