Presidential candidate Tilly Schaaf was issued a major strike by the Electoral Commission (EC) yesterday afternoon.
Schaaf was prohibited from campaigning until 2pm today due to the offence, two hours before campaigning in elections ended entirely.
According to the EC, Schaaf was sanctioned for initiating direct conversations on social media through her campaign account, in breach of election rules.
On Sunday, Ents candidate Sam Kelly was also sanctioned for initiating conversations through his campaign account, but received only a minor strike. The EC said that Schaaf was issued a major strike for initiating 68 conversations through social media, while Kelly had initiated just one.
The strike is the second received by Schaaf during the campaign period. She was issued a minor strike on the first day of campaigning for posts made on social media outside of campaign hours.
If a candidate receives three minor strikes during the election period, they are struck off the ballot. If a candidate receives two major strikes, it is at the discretion of the EC whether or not they remain on the ballot.
Voting in sabbatical elections closed at 4pm this afternoon, with results due to be announced this evening.
A poll conducted by Trinity News last week indicated a likely win for László Molnárfi in the presidential race, though showed Schaaf keeping pace with incumbent Education Officer Zöe Cummins, who is also a candidate in the race.
This article was updated on March 3 to include comment from Schaaf.