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Brown to present bill to overturn Elections Commission ruling in bid to continue ASSU exec candidacy

Brown says they will step down from Senate if bill is rejected

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Senate chair Micheal Brown ’22 will attempt to overturn their slate’s disqualification from the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) executive race at Wednesday night’s Graduate Student Council (GSC) meeting, Brown announced in a public Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) Slack workspace.

The Elections Commission announced Tuesday that it had disqualified the Stanford Gladiators slate after Brown’s running mate, former vice presidential candidate Emily Nichols ’23, dropped out of the race.

Brown’s bill must receive a two-thirds majority vote in the GSC and the Undergraduate Senate — where they currently serve as Senate chair — to overturn the Elections Commission’s ruling. If they manage to overturn the ruling, it is unclear how Brown would proceed without a running mate or if they plan to identify a new one.

If the legislature does not vote in favor of Brown’s bill, Brown wrote in a statement to The Daily that they plan to immediately step down from their Senate position.

“The truth is plain. I know the work I’ve done, and I made this choice conscious knowing what drama from my personal life might come out to show the seriousness of ASSU for those with wrong motivations,” Brown wrote. “And the lengths some will go for power when you just want to make an ASSU New Deal.”

The bill requests that the Stanford Gladiators slate be reinstated, challenging the position of Elections Commissioner Edwin Ong ’23, who maintains that the slate is invalid due to Nichols’ decision to exit the race. Ong said that because the ASSU Constitution defines an executive slate as consisting of two candidates — one for president and one for vice president — one of the candidates dropping out disqualifies the entire slate. 

However, as The Daily reported on Tuesday, candidates in Brown’s position can attempt to overturn Elections Commission decisions either through legislation or through appeals to the Constitutional Council.

Brown’s bill cites past Daily coverage on the election, including an initial overview of the race and a piece on Brown’s decision to raise concerns about their opponent’s past involvement with the Stanford College Republicans (SCR). It also links to and quotes Brown’s Tuesday op-ed, which details the candidate’s political philosophy. 

The relationship between these materials, which effectively present an election timeline, and the reasoning behind Brown’s argument that the Elections Commission’s decision be overturned is not immediately clear. 

Brown will present the bill at Wednesday’s Graduate Student Council meeting, which is open to the public via Zoom. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. PT.

Malaysia Atwater contributed reporting.

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Georgia Rosenberg is a Desk Editor for University News. Contact her at grosenberg 'at' stanforddaily.com!