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.”