Candidate disqualified from NUS election…because he used group photo on poster

The same candidate was already victimised by homophobic attack

NUS uea

The NUS National Conference election has been rocked by another scandal as one of UEA’s candidates has been disqualified for featuring a group photo in one of his campaign posters.

The poster, ruled a breach of campaign rules by the Union’s Deputy Returning Officer Josh Clare, features a group shot of candidate Daniel Wrigglesworth holding up a sign next to several other people. One of those people was Connor Rand, a competing election candidate, pictured at a protest earlier that year.

This comes after Daniel’s posters were a victim of homophobic vandalism earlier in the week.

Despite the photograph featuring others as well as the two candidates, the poster was ruled a breach of electoral regulations and Daniel was disqualified from the election.

The offending poster

The offending poster

 

He was informed of the decision to suspend him on November 6, a full day after voting for had already opened – and just one day before polling closed.

But the online voting system continued to list Daniel’s name and manifesto up until the end of the election.

This raises the possibility that people continued to vote for him without knowing of his disqualification, and that their first-preference election choice was worthless.

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Daniel’s campaign was victim to a homophobic attack

A frustrated Daniel said:

“Someone complained that I was endorsing another candidate. I took down all the posters with the image like I was told to, but it wasn’t enough.

“The returning officer ruled I didn’t take the posters down in a “timely fashion”, although I wasn’t told how long I had to take them down.”

He continued: “How was I meant to know that Rand was also going to run? I sent my materials in three days before campaigning opened and still didn’t get informed.”

Connor Rand was elected to the position of NUS delegate with 57 votes. He is also the current Union Undergraduate Education Officer.

The results

The results

 

Daniel explained: “I know people have complained to the Union over what happened. I just feel it was unjust. Last week was a mess but it has been nice to get support from officers around the country that feel what happened was wrong.”

Daniel has received support from other universities in appealing for the ban to be overturned and reinstated in the vote count.

These include the LGBT+ officer at Chichester University, a National student fundraising association officer, and several UEA students.

Daniel expressed his frustration on Facebook

Daniel expressed his frustration on Facebook

 

Cat Chappelle, a Culture, Media and Society student, has written to the Union about the incident. She said: “Dan has been so dedicated and determined to become NUS delegate and to be pulled because he featured a photo of another candidate is ridiculous. He complied with taking down the posters and yet was still penalised.

“After facing homophobic attacks during the campaign process, he’s been through a lot for the role.”

Cat is still awaiting a response from the Union.