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Friday December 9th

McKnight disqualified from SBP elections

<p>The board of elections holds the third hearing against Matthew McKnight's campaign. They unanimously voted to award him eight points. He now has been awarded 15 total points, so he has been disqualified from the Student Body President elections.</p>
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The board of elections holds the third hearing against Matthew McKnight's campaign. They unanimously voted to award him eight points. He now has been awarded 15 total points, so he has been disqualified from the Student Body President elections.

On Thursday night, the UNC Board of Elections disqualified Matthew McKnight from the student body president elections after hearing a third complaint filed by Harry Edwards.

McKnight had enough signatures to be on the ballot, but Elizabeth Adkins is now the only candidate with enough signatures. Maurice Grier and Travis Broadhurst have until Friday at 5 p.m. to get the rest of the required signatures. Sammie Espada dropped out of the race and endorsed Grier.

The board unanimously voted to award McKnight eight points on a falsification violation. He was previously awarded seven points, when he was found guilty of one falsification violation and three technology violations. He now has 15 points, and the threshold for disqualification is 10 points.

The third complaint, which the board heard Thursday, consisted of two charges of falsification and one of harmful and malicious behavior. McKnight was found guilty of the first charge of falsification, but not the other charges.

McKnight appealed a decision from last week, and Paul Kushner, chairperson of the Board of Elections, said McKnight can appeal Thursday’s decision as well.

Regarding the hearing of Edwards’ second complaint against McKnight, Edwards argued McKnight’s defense was relying on the fact that Katharine Shriver, a former member of the McKnight campaign, was no longer a member of the campaign when she refiled a complaint against Joe Nail, who has since been disqualified. In his hearings, Nail was represented by Edwards, a member of his campaign at the time.

In the second complaint against McKnight, McKnight is cited as saying that Shriver had left his campaign team at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 6. In the hearing for the third complaint against McKnight, Edwards presented evidence that, he argued, disputes this fact as she was sent an email regarding campaign matters on Feb. 7 along with other campaign members.

Edwards argued this was proof that she was still being consulted as a member of the campaign. This means the BOE was misinformed of the facts at previous hearings.

“He wanted their feedback on an official campaign statement,” Edwards said. “He wanted them both to assist in official campaign endeavors, just two hours before she refiled the complaint.”

McKnight countered that, as she did not respond to the email, she was not a part of his campaign at the time. Meaning, her action refiling the complaint and the evidence she presented was not on behalf of the McKnight campaign and he should not be held responsible for her falsifications.

Edwards continued to argue a case for falsification on the grounds that Shriver perjured herself by knowingly attesting to incorrect information. Because she was a member of the McKnight campaign, Edwards argued McKnight should be held accountable for her actions.

Edwards also argued McKnight should be found guilty of harmful and malicious behavior because Shriver would have knowingly filed a false complaint with the BOE.

The harmful and malicious behavior charge relies on the verification of the previous two charges.

“I think the crux of this comes down to whether or not the Board thinks that my sending an email to Ms. Shriver, that the email in question constitutes her being … involved in the campaign in such a way that she would be considered a candidate supporter or campaign worker by the (Student) Code.”

university@dailytarheel.com

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