Presidential candidate Gabi Fullam was issued with a minor strike by the Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Electoral Commission (EC) yesterday evening.
This is the first strike the EC has issued since campaigning began on Monday (February 21). The EC said that because of the strike, Fullam’s team would not be permitted to conduct any campaigning online or in person between 2pm and 3pm today.
Speaking to Trinity News, Fullam said that the strike had occurred because a person who is not a member of her campaign team made a social media post promoting the campaign outside of approved campaigning hours.
Fullam said the incident was “unfortunate” but that she and her team “accept the EC decision as fair”.
Schedule Three of the TCDSU constitution allows the EC to issue both minor and major strikes for breaches of election rules, also laid down in Schedule Three. The EC has the discretion to determine where a breach has occurred, and where to issue major or minor strikes.
If a candidate receives three minor strikes during the election period, they are struck off the ballot. If a candidate receives two major strikes, the EC may decide whether or not they remain on the ballot.
Schedule Three does not say that candidates are responsible for the conduct of students who are not members of their campaign teams, but the EC has issued strikes for such conduct in the past.
Campaign hours are defined in the electoral regulations as 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm each weekday. Campaigning is also permitted in Trinity Hall from 6pm to 9pm. Schedule Three does not say if the additional Halls campaigning hours extend to online activity, but past EC rulings have generally acted as if it does not.
Campaigning for sabbatical officer elections will continue until March 3. Voting will run from March 1 to 3. Students have until noon on March 1 to register to vote. The next hustings event is this Thursday (February 24) at 7pm, hosted by Trinity News and the University Times.
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