More than 150 students gathered in front of the Lyceum starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday night to await the Associated Student Body executive election results. Nearly two hours passed before Interim Attorney General Anya Czerwinski announced the outcome. The delay resulted from campaign violation hearings involving vice presidential candidate Sarah Doty and an undisclosed senatorial candidate.
“We heard two violations concerning a candidate for a Senate seat and a candidate for vice president,” Czerwinski said. “One candidate for the Senate was disqualified, and a vice presidential candidate was exonerated.”
While Czerwinski did not confirm the name of the vice presidential candidate who received a violation, Doty identified herself as the candidate in question.
Doty said a freshman who was part of her extended campaign team had waited outside of residence halls on campus encouraging people to vote using his laptop and directing students to vote for Doty in the vice presidential race.
“He was just directing them to who he knew in the election,” Doty said. “(My campaign team) had sent the rules that morning, and we had really put an emphasis on letting people have their own choice. That’s what this whole thing is about.”
Doty said she had no knowledge of what the student was doing and did not direct the student to campaign in that way. She also said she places blame for the violation on the student for not following the rules.
“I hadn’t really met him before the campaign started,” Doty said. “He hadn’t been around elections, maybe, for very long. He didn’t know that you really have to be following the rules when they say to follow the rules.”
While she was allowed to remain in the race, the violation penalty carries a $25 fine and requires Doty to complete 11 hours of community service, according to Doty.
Doty said she was confused upon receiving a phone call from the attorney general’s office while in front of the Lyceum with the rest of the candidates, and she said Czerwinski directed her to stand behind the Lyceum until brought inside.
“It all ended up okay, obviously, because I’m in the runoff and didn’t get disqualified,” Doty said. “I do community service all the time just for fun, honestly, so it’s no sweat off our backs.”
Czerwinski said she would not elaborate on the details of the violation hearings in order for the attorney general’s office to avoid possibly influencing the runoff election.
Doty will face off against Charlotte Shackelford for the office of vice president today after garnering 28.12% of the vote to Shackelford’s 30.48% in Tuesday’s election.
The next closest candidate to Doty was J.R. Riojas, who won 25.46% of the vote. The difference between Doty and Riojas was only 143 votes.
“I am looking forward to Thursday’s election going smoothly,” Czerwinski said. “We have great candidates facing against each other for vice president and president.”
Students can vote online through their myOleMiss accounts between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday by opening the “Get Involved” tab and clicking on “Vote in Student Elections.”