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Agnihotri/Fleming UPUA Ticket Facing Five Elections Code Violations

Read our disclaimer regarding Onward State’s coverage of the 2016 UPUA elections.

Head Elections Commissioner and current UPUA Chief Justice Joe Arias sent an email early Monday morning outlining the campaign violations the Divy Agnihotri and Megan Fleming UPUA presidential ticket is facing after just one week of campaigning.

“I would like to ensure the students at University Park that the Elections Commission has been working endlessly to ensure a fair, proper, and efficient elections cycle,” Arias said. “The Elections Commission has been following the Elections Code to its fullest extent and will continue to enforce the Elections Code upon any violation committed by any candidate and/or campaign.”

The email described the general violations Agnihotri and Fleming are now facing, some of which come from the leaked GroupMe messages. There are a total of five violations, and each violation is assigned a level that corresponds to a percentage decrease in their campaign spending total. The Commission did not identify which violation corresponded to a particular Groupme message or incident in the statement.

The two heftiest violations Agnihotri and Fleming received came from the GroupMe messages. The ticket received a level 6 Sabotage Violation, resulting in an 11 percent decrease in the team’s budget. The campaign was also rendered a level 7 Slander Violation, which is an 18 percent decrease in their spending total.

The other three violations are not quite as substantial but still decrease the tickets budget. These violations were filed before the GroupMe messages were revealed, according to Chief Arias. They include:

  • Two counts of Early Campaigning, both level four, resulting in a total of an 8 percent decrease in Agnihotri and Fleming’s campaign budget.
  • One level one count of a Mutual Endorsement Violation, resulting in a 5 percent decrease in the spending total.

The Agnihotri/Fleming ticket has until Tuesday at 3 p.m. to plead guilty or not guilty to the Elections Commission. A not guilty plea would result in an appeals hearing before the Commission. The campaign is expected to fight the charges.

For those math whizzes at home, that’s a total of 42 percent of the Agnihotri/Fleming ticket currently in limbo, meaning the campaign has $348 of its $600 to spend. Any combination of violation fines + expenditures in excess of $600 results in an automatic disqualification. It is not clear how much the campaign has spent so far, but if it’s more than $348, a guilty verdict would result in a DQ. It is common for campaigns to leave some buffer in the budget to account for unexpected elections code violations.

About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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