By Eliza Croft
Update: Observer has viewed an email indicating that the ban has now been lifted.
Observer understands that the Returning Officer has banned Climate Action’s Kim Stern from campaigning until the close of polls, following an alleged campaign violation.
ANUSA and the Probity Team have not responded to Observer’s request for information, but multiple other candidates told Observer that the ban was due to Stern allegedly looking at someone’s phone while they voted. Under ANUSA’s Election Regulations, it is an offence to “attempt to ascertain the way a person votes”, which includes attempting to “watch how a person casts their vote while they are voting”.
Climate Action told Observer that the decision of the Returning Officer is “based of [sic] inaccurate information and is being contested”.
This is not Stern’s first election-season controversy. The Climate Action Education Officer candidate was recorded on video yesterday yelling at another candidate, Jacob Ellis from VOTE!. The video shows Stern confronting Ellis on University Avenue shouting, “You’re playing games with anti-semitism. It’s disgraceful!” Stern then continues, “Why are you saying that the group I’m a part of, that’s trying to fight against Nazis and anti-semitism, is anti-semitic?” In the video, the confrontation is broken up by Probity Officer Noah Yim. Ellis told Observer that Stern’s “outburst” was due to “a statement I [Ellis] made to a potential voter…about the Socialist Alternative NUS faction”.
The sanction means that Stern is unable to campaign in-person or online for the rest of the election period. However, other Climate Action candidates can continue to campaign.
Undergraduate students can vote online until 12pm Thursday.
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