Education Officer candidate Bev Genockey and University Times editor candidate Peter Caddle have both received minor strikes and a temporary ban on campaigning.
Genockey received a 30 minute ban after a campaign team member referenced and tagged the candidate’s campaign in a tweet, while Caddle was given a 90 minute ban after his campaign’s Instagram page requested to follow other users. Both breaches occurred outside of campaign hours.
In a statement, the Electoral Commission said that “Education Candidate Bev Genockey has received a minor strike for 30 minutes during campaign hours, effective immediately”.
“This strike is due to a member of the campaign team tweeting a University Times article regarding a motion at TCDSU council while also referencing the candidate’s campaign and tagging the campaign page,” the commission said.
“The campaign ‘area’, as written in Schedule 3 – 2.8.b, was determined by the EC to be the candidates’ official online social media pages, prior to the election.”
Speaking to Trinity News, Genockey said that the strike related to a post by a “well-intentioned, enthusiastic first year student about a motion we brought to Council together which tagged the campaign page”.
Genockey said it was an “honest mistake and misinterpretation of the rules” but that “we respect the EC’s decision to issue the strike, and the temporary ban on campaigning”.
“However, I would like to take this opportunity to commend my campaign team for their tireless efforts so far, and we look forward to reaching even more students over the next few days.”
Additionally, the EC said that it was brought to its attention that “UT candidate Peter Caddle’s Campaign Instagram page was requesting to follow multiple people an hour outside of campaign hours”.
“This is in breach of the election regulations as per Schedule 3 – 2.4.2 and is therefore afforded a minor strike with a ban from social media for an hour and a half during campaign hours, effective immediately.”
Speaking to Trinity News, Caddle said it “was an honest mistake on our part and we totally agree with the EC’s decision”.
Under Schedule 3 of the union’s constitution, a candidate who receives more than three minor strikes can be struck off the ballot.
If a candidate receives two major strikes, a decision is made “at the discretion of the EC” as to whether they will remain on the ballot.
Voting in the sabbatical officer elections opens online on Tuesday, with the winners of each race to be announced on Thursday.
This article was updated at 1.30pm to include statements from Bev Genockey and Peter Caddle.