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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

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Freshman class president candidate appeals disqualification

Freshman+Class+President+candidate+and+agribusiness+major%26%23160%3BColton+Whisenant+on+the+steps+of+the+Jack+K.+Williams+Administration+Building.
Photo courtesy of Colton Whisenant

Freshman Class President candidate and agribusiness major Colton Whisenant on the steps of the Jack K. Williams Administration Building.

Editor’s note: This story was updated since initial publication to correct a misattribution. 

Unofficial results for the fall 2022 Student Government Association election were announced on Friday, Sept. 30, with agribusiness freshman class president candidate Colton Whisenant receiving 550 votes, the most votes for freshman class president. However, Whisenant was disqualified by the Election Commission, resulting in the unofficial election of forensic investigative sciences freshman Briani Plancarte-Saenz.

According to Whisenant, the Texas A&M judicial court has not released the details or information regarding his petition to the public. Whisenant said when the court chooses to do so, he will freely discuss his petition but, until then, wants to respect the court and their process.

After being disqualified during the first round of the vote count, Whisenant did not receive any additional votes. During 11 runoff rounds, the remaining candidates continued to receive votes, and Plancarte-Saenz was unofficially announced as the freshman class president with 454 votes. 

Whisenant then filed a petition for writ of certiorari, or request for judicial review, with the judicial court alleging the Election Commission misinterpreted the Election Regulation Code. Four justices voted to grant Whisenant’s writ of certiorari — a decision on the appeal is expected to be made sometime next week. 

Due to the appeal, the chief justice is currently unable to certify the freshman class president election results until the conclusion of all appeals, according to the Elections Regulation Act. Evidence for the appeal must have been by Oct. 5 with scheduled oral arguments to come. Following the oral arguments, the Judicial Court will begin their deliberation and a decision will follow. Based on the decision, the chief justice will certify the election results. 

“I’m lucky enough to attend a university which allows me to dispute choices made by the Election Commission,” Whisenant said. “I’ve filed this case because I know I had the largest share of votes, and I believe I was wrongly disqualified from the freshman class president election.”  

The Battalion contacted the SGA Election Commission, who was unable to comment at the time of publication.
 

 

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