Update: The story has been updated to reflect the current state of ongoing litigation.
The results are in, and Make Michigan has done it again.
LSA junior Cooper Charlton and LSA sophomore Steven Halperin will be the Central Student Government president and vice president, respectively, according to unofficial election results released early Saturday morning.
The vote tallies were released 24 hours after polls closed for the CSG elections. Charlton and Halperin won with 4,041 votes, beating The Team’s presidential and vice presidential competitors, LSA junior Will Royster and LSA sophomore Matt Fidel, by five votes.
Charlton is the current president of the University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Halperin currently serves as an LSA representative. This is the second year the Make Michigan party has secured the two CSG executive positions.
Litigation against both parties is still pending. Make Michigan has filed a suit against The Team and LSA senior Andrew Loeb for harvesting 534 e-mails; The Team filed a similar suit against Make Michigan for harvesting 5,719 e-mails; and Make Michigan filed a suit against LSA junior Will Royster, The Team’s presidential candidate, for influencing a student while voting.
E-mail violations are assessed per e-mail recipient. Candidates are not allowed to solicit votes through listservs they don’t own, for example. Candidates or campaign volunteers are also not allowed to harvest student e-mail addresses for campaign purposes, according to the CSG Compiled Code.
“We’re going to fight them on whatever we have,” LSA junior Jacob Abudaram, The Team’s campaign manager, said Saturday morning. “Win or lose, we’re still here.”
According to Law student Paige Becker, the University’s elections director, if both parties are found guilty of harvesting emails, their entire slates could be disqualified. In this scenario, the Defend Affirmative Action Party would take office. DAAP’s executive slate amassed 742.05 votes — over 3,000 votes less than either Make Michigan or The Team.
“It would be all of the next highest vote getters that are actual students,” Becker said in an interview Sunday. “So for example, the DAAP ticket would take over the presidential and vice presidential seat, and everywhere where there were DAAP candidates for the assembly or independent candidates for the assembly they would take over the seats. Any that weren’t filled were be filled in the fall.”
The election results came in after Make Michigan filed complaints against The Team for destroying campaign materials. The party alleged that members of The Team erased a Make Michigan chalk advertisement on the Diag and replaced it with an advertisement reading “Vote for the Team.” The University Elections Committee ultimately found The Team guilty of the charges in a two-to-one vote and assessed them four demerits. Demerits do not affect a party unless it receives 10 demerits, which then disqualifies the candidates.
Make Michigan also filed a complaint against The Team for campaign finance disclosure violations. However, The Team filed a counterclaim against Make Michigan for filing a frivolous complaint. Both parties were found not guilty Saturday night, yielding no demerits on either side.
The Make Michigan platform addresses several issues regarding campus safety and diversity. The party’s platform outlines goals to improve campus safety by working with the city of Ann Arbor to improve off-campus lighting as well as launch a new safety mobile application.
The party also intends to promote an inclusive campus environment through the implementation of SEED faculty training, a for-profit faculty education program.
During CSG debates earlier this month, Charlton addressed the party’s commitment to improving diversity and inclusion on campus.
“Diversity is more than skin deep,” Charlton said. “The University of Michigan is where great minds come. With Make Michigan, we are going to be able to make the difference.”
In a statement, CSG President Bobby Dishell, a Public Policy senior, said he wished his successors luck in the next year.
“I’m incredibly proud of the work of Cooper and Steven and Make Michigan,” he said. “I can’t think of any other individuals who are more qualified to take over these roles and lead this University.”
The release of the results coincided with the deadline for filing litigation. According to Law student John Lin, CSG’s student general counsel, this change was implemented in spring 2014 to expedite the litigation process.
The former election policy stated that results would be announced after litigation was resolved. Under the previous policy, the announcement of last year’s CSG election results was delayed until five days after polls closed.
“The intent behind this rule change is that, say if you won, you can drop all the claims you filed against the other party and that would reduce litigation a little bit,” Lin said.
Daily News Editor Michael Sugerman contributed reporting.