GSB Supreme Court Hearing

GSB election commissioner Adam Guenther speaks during GSB court on Feb. 26, 2014 in the Gerdin Building. Guenther was sued by GSB presidential candidate Barry Snell after being told he could not debate without 500 signatures.

Emelie Knobloch

The Government of the Student Body Supreme Court hearing for the suit between the GSB election commissioner and a presidential candidate was held Wednesday night.

“Last Wednesday, the election commissioner told candidate for president of GSB, Barry Snell, that he would not be allowed to participate in the debate if he did not submit 500 signatures by Friday Feb. 21,” said Michael Belding, council for Barry Snell.

Snell submitted 184 signatures on Friday, Feb. 21, the deadline for the petition of signatures, according to Guenther.

Belding said this came as a surprise to Snell because the election code neither indicates nor suggests a relationship between petitions and eligibility to adhere in the official sponsored debates.

The conversation regarding Snell’s eligibility in the presidential debate initially took place on Facebook messaging.

Guenther was the advisor for the Snell/Vos campaign.

“It was an advisory opinion between two friends when it was on Facebook and it became official when I emailed him that he was no longer on the ballot over this weekend,” Guenther said.

Guenther said that 500 signatures is a benchmark to get placed on the ballot. 

Ryan Peterson, associate justice of the GSB Supreme Court asked Guenther what the harm was to the election commission if Snell was allowed to debate.

“I think it undermines the process of the elections,” Guenther said. “You have two candidates, Mr. Fitten and Ms. Kletscher that have successfully remained as formal candidates and will be participating in the debate.”

Guenther said that if Mr. Snell is included in the debate it undermines the hard work and integrity of the election by allowing some one who has not met the same requirements.

“I think we have established that there is no formal definition of a candidate within the election code,” said Dylan Camp, associate justice of the GSB Supreme Court.

The verdict of the hearing will be announced at an unknown time today.