ASUO Elections Board decides to remove Katie and Alex from ballot
The ASUO Elections Board decided to remove Katie Taylor and Alex Sylvester from the ballot and add Ben Bowman and Lamar Wise late Monday night.
The official document states it made its decision due to the grievance filed by the Ben and Lamar campaign regarding the alleged phishing website made by members of the Katie and Alex campaign. The website was used to gain access to email information from people involved within the campaign and to tamper with shared documents.
The decision states that the votes given to the Katie and Alex campaign will not be invalidated. They will not count toward the executive ticket but they will be considered valid in terms of the total number of votes.
Only Taylor and Sylvester will be removed from the ballot because they are the only ones who have appeared complicit in the alleged cyber hacking. Ben Bowman and Lamar Wise will take their place on the executive ticket. All other Katie and Alex slate members will remain on the ballot.
“We are satisfied with the Elections Board ruling,” Bowman said. “We look forward to a clean election.”
Members from the Katie and Alex campaign are also asked to return any phone numbers they obtained illegally to the Ben and Lamar campaign.
ASUO Sen. and We Are Oregon presidential candidate Laura Hinman is excited to continue on but has some concerns about the decision.
“We Are Oregon is very excited to continue on in the general campaign,” she said. “However, we are requesting clarification from the Elections Board because we believe they have not considered the implications of a week four election on candidates and students.”
Hinman reveals her campaign also fell victim to phishing scam
Hinman came forward claiming she too has fallen prey to the alleged phishing scam.
Hinman explained that she received a call from the ASUO University Affairs Coordinator Manny Garcia on March 19 reminding her to log into the “Google Calendar integration tool.” As soon as she filled out the form, she was redirected to another website but thought nothing of it.
Nick McCain, the president of the Resident Hall Advisory and vice presidential candidate with We Are Oregon, also received the email but chose not to log into the website.
Unlike the Ben and Lamar campaign, We Are Oregon did not make any cold calls, meaning they did not have large logs of contact information. However, Hinman noticed her candidate contact information was wrong.
“We didn’t suspect anything was wrong,” Hinman said. “We thought it was just the error of the people working on our campaign.”
Throughout the week, she received various texts containing Google account verification numbers even though she had made no changes to the account.
Hinman went on to say that ASUO Sen. and presidential candidate Ben Bowman called her Saturday night informing her of the phishing website. As soon as she received the call, she opened her email account.
“I saw that our entire revision history was deleted,” Hinman said. “Then I realized that an entire personal contact sheet was just missing.”
Blake Sedgley, the We Are Oregon campaign manager, said the only way to describe the way he felt when he heard the news of the phishing was “exhausted.”
“People have tried to undo all the work we did,” Sedgley said. “This shows that we were able to make it past adversity to still get 40 percent of the vote.”
Elections will begin Monday of week four.
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