An entire slate of 26 candidates running with the opposition party for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Student Association in this week's election had their names stricken from the ballot because of campaign violations, a UWM election official said today.
Candidates with Achieving Student Action through Progress (ASAP) filed complaints today with the student court hoping to postpone the election, scheduled for Thursday and Friday. Otherwise, students who go to the polls will see only the names of candidates from the Students United For Change (SUFC) party or two independent candidates. If they want to vote for candidates from ASAP, they'll have to write the names in.
The ruling was made by election commissioner Dan Bahr, a former student senator who ran with the party that stands to benefit from the decision. He stepped down from that position in February when he was appointed election commissioner.
"All we ever wanted was a fair election," ASAP vice presidential candidate Julio Guerrero said. "We don't mind losing if we're on the ballot. The fact that they felt they needed to take us off the ballot shows me personally how much they fear losing power."
The ACLU and Milwaukee Alderman Nic Kovac are now involved. Perhaps Jimmy Carter can cut short his trip to the middle east and mediate the election dispute.
As a former UW-Milwaukee student government president once told me, "Never have so few fought so hard over so little." The winner of this struggle gets cash, a nice office, free use of a computer and (unless they changed the rules) even occasional use of a state car. Not bad for someone who is supposed to be going to college.