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

The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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Pretrial held for ‘McIntosh vs Keathley’ appeal

Junior+Robert+McIntosh+is+disputing+charges+of+voter+intimidation+which+led+to+his+disqualification.
Photo by Photo by Maria Fuentes

Junior Robert McIntosh is disputing charges of voter intimidation which led to his disqualification.

Texas A&M’s Student Government Association held its pretrial hearing Wednesday for the disqualified candidate for student body president, Robert McIntosh, who is contesting his disqualification.
McIntosh, who initially won the SBP race, was disqualified last Friday evening after 14 reports of voter intimidation were reported to the Election Commission. Videos were submitted which showed McIntosh and other campaign members approaching students and asking them to vote on their phones while they watched.
McIntosh’s campaign filed an appeal to the Judicial Court last Saturday, but on Sunday McIntosh received another disqualification-level charge — failure to report a campaign expense.
For the expense report charge, McIntosh failed to account for glow sticks seen in a campaign video, which was posted to Facebook Feb. 19. All candidates are required to turn in receipts for all materials used in any campaigning effort. The expense report McIntosh turned in did not account for the glow sticks.
The reports on the violations, as well as McIntosh’s expense report can be read in full at tamuelection.com. McIntosh and his campaign will be contesting both these charges at his hearing Thursday evening.
Business honors junior and chief justice of the SGA Judicial Court Shelby James said the pretrial hearing will not be an indication of the hearing Thursday evening.
“The court doesn’t ‘prejudge’ issues, or determine a ruling before the oral arguments,” Shelby said. “Though we’ve received evidence from both parties, we only voted for its acceptance and will not critically analyze the cases presented by the parties until the actual hearing.”
Shelby said the only effect the pretrial hearing will have is how the court will decide to proceed with the matter.
“If the evidence is deemed valid, the Court will proceed with case 69-01. However, if the Court establishes the facts asserted by the defense are wrong, Case 69-01 will be deemed unnecessary,” Shelby said.
Case 69-01 deals with the voter intimidation violations. Case 69-02 deals with the expense report violation. The pretrial hearing held Wednesday night only dealt with case 69-01.
During the trial, witnesses to the reported violation testified to what they saw.
“I saw someone from their campaign follow a girl out of the plaza, and heard her say, ‘Stop following me you’re making me uncomfortable,’” said food science and technology senior Joshua Sutton.
Sutton said he saw similar things occur with several people.
“There were numerous people out there — they pulled out their phones, which we assumed was to vote,” Sutton said.
Sutton said he took photographs of a few instances of this, which occurred last Thursday, and reported the violation after.
Business honors senior and election commissioner Rachel Keathley, who led the defense, said she felt the hearing went well.
“The evidence was clearly displayed. The fact that our witnesses saw this happen and experienced this happen has shown enough that we are confident in our decision to disqualify [McIntosh],” Keathley said.
Keathley also said if case 69-01 is dismissed, it will not affect the result of the SBP election.
“There is a second disqualification charge. If it was thrown out it would come down to 69-02,” Keathley said.
Management junior and McIntosh’s campaign manager Sam Alder declined to comment.
McIntosh’s official hearing will be held tomorrow evening, March 2, at 8:30 pm in the Koldus Building, room 110.

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