EDITORIAL: Election investigation questionable

North Wind Staff

We are concerned that the ASNMU Election Committee may not have given President Katerina Klawes, who is running for re-election, proper due process and may have seriously jeopardized the election itself by putting her in a bad light in the middle of students voting.

We support election investigations, but for the committee to question a candidate while students were still voting, especially in what appears to be weak circumstances, is bad judgment on its part.


Whether or not the claims made against Klawes are true, the ASNMU Elections Committee undermined the democratic process and gave her opponent an unfair advantage.

If Klawes’ depiction of events is true, the Elections Committee gave her notice of her hearing less than 24 hours before it was scheduled. It cited an undisclosed email which may (or may not) be evidence that she forged permission to canvass in Payne Hall.

The Committee did not provide her the evidence until she was at the hearing, she said. It chose to do this on the last day of voting and one day before the election results were to be posted. And, according to Klawes, they gave her an ultimatum: withdraw or be publicly shamed.

ASNMU is not excused from rushing an investigation, even if the charges are true.

Due process is one of those tenets our little democracy is founded on: it matters at all levels of government.

In comment, the Election Committee said its investigation will not affect the results or when they are posted.

That’s just not true.

Its investigation has to impact the results. The fact that Klawes was under investigation while students were voting tainted her reputation at a moment when she was banking on reputation for votes.

We can’t help but feel that the timing seems ill-conceived. We wonder if the decision to launch such an investigation and not wait until the voting had ended was based on personal vendettas.

On the surface, it certainly seems personal, whether by those who filed the charges or by the Election Committee. Either way, the election’s integrity was compromised.

We hope voters can distinguish hearsay from credentials.

We hope that—if these rumors surfaced among students before voting closed—students were not dissuaded from voting their conscience based on gossip.