University Board of Elections Rules and Regulations

University Board of Elections Rules and Regulations

To the University Community:
Throughout this election cycle and after results were posted yesterday, there have been concerns raised
about UBE’s handling of rules complaints related to campaigning in support of Referendum 1. We
respond to those allegations below.

UBE does not have a one-strike policy for rules infractions. Throughout the course of the elections cycle,
UBE found two rules infractions related to Referendum 1:

1. The original sponsor name “University of Virginia Apartheid Divest” is not an official
student organization as defined by Student Affairs policy. While the UBE rules state that
sponsors for referenda must be “student organizations,” they do not provide a definition for the
term. We agreed with a complainant that despite this lack of clarity, UBE ought to conform itself
to Student Affairs’ definition of the term: CIOs, FOs, SSOs, or Agency groups. Following our
decision, the referendum’s proponents agreed to amend the sponsorship information to a list of
CIOs. Given that this ruling relied on the application of a technical definition of a term which is
not found in UBE’s Rules and Regulations document, we certainly would not have expected
Referendum 1’s proponents to identify this issue in the petitioning process and feel that to
penalize them for it would be inappropriate.

2. Initial campaign flyers supporting the Referendum lacked a “paid-for-by-attribution.” After
receiving a rules complaint, we contacted the referendum’s sponsors and asked them to remove
the flyers and include a “paid-for-by” attribution on any additional campaign materials they
distributed. We believe they complied with this request. To the best of our institutional
knowledge, UBE has never considered taking an item off the ballot for a one-time violation of the
“paid-for-by attribution” rule, and given this precedent, we feel that to do so here would have
been unfairly punitive.

It has never been our practice to remove candidates or other items from the ballot except in the cases of
clear malice and bad faith. Neither of these rules violations rose to that standard--nor did any of the other
complaints we received regarding Referendum 1 that we deemed were not rules violations. Following the
break, we will post the details of all complaints related to Referendum 1 and our responses on our
website. We believe all students we have worked with on both sides of this issue have acted with grace,
maturity, and good faith throughout our rules review process.

The Board of Elections is committed to transparently and fairly administering the elections process at the
University, and we have treated the rules complaints for Referendum 1 with the same respect and
attention that we afford to all others. We will continue to review our processes and policies to ensure their
clarity for future election cycles, and we remain committed to protecting the rights of all students to
engage in political discourse over contentious issues.

The University Board of Elections

March 1st, 2024


A complete summary of all rules complaints from the Spring 2024 election cycle can be found below:

UBE Rules Complaint Summaries.pdf


Last Updated September 24, 2023

UBE Rules and Regs 2023-2024.pdf