Kaelen Thomas becomes de-facto president-elect after Nigel Walton is disqualified from SGA run-off election

Kaelen Thomas and Nigel Walton faced off on the debate stage, now they will face off in the runoff election. Photo by Shel Levy | The Signal

Editor’s Note: This page will be updated as more SGA election information comes in.

Update: April 3 at 7:20 p.m.

The SJB has upheld the decision of the election commission to disqualify Nigel Walton from the race. The decision makes Kaelen Thomas the next president-elect for the 91st Student Government Association administration at Georgia State.

Original Article: April 3 at 3:00 p.m.

Kaelen Thomas has become the de-facto university-wide president-elect of the 91st administration of the Student Government Association after runoff competitor Nigel Walton was disqualified from a decision made by the Election Commission. 

However, this decision is not final and much could change in the following days.

Thomas filed two election complaints against Walton accusing him of attempting to bribe previous presidential candidate Carlos Porter into an endorsement on March 16 and “falsifying campaign documents” on March 30.

This is the second year in a row that a presidential candidate has been disqualified for attempting to bribe another SGA official and was disqualified for it before the official results of the student body vote in the runoff were released. 

The first complaint reports that Walton didn’t divulge the names of his entire campaign staff to the Election Commission.

According to the complaint, Walton admitted his actions in a GroupMe dedicated to his campaign titled “#WaltonfortheWin.”

“Also I have to provide names… I’m not giving them everyone’s tho [sic],” Walton said, according to screenshots by Porter mentioned in the complaint.

The second complaint reports that Walton requested Porter’s support in exchange for a position on a future “pseudo-cabinet.”

“I also will be creating a pseudo-cabinet that will work directly with me to address issues on campus. Will you join me?” Walton said, according to the complaint.

The Election Commission found Walton in violation of class A offenses for both complaints. 

A class A offense, also known as Election Fraud, is “defined as the unauthorized tampering, altering, or abuse of the voting process; falsified campaign documents; [or] identity theft,” according to Article 12 Section 2B of the SGA Election Code.

In regard to the second complaint, the Election Commission determined that Walton violated Article 6D of the SGA Election Code which states “No person shall offer anything tangible or intangible of value or make any physical, emotional, or verbal threats to any voter to affect the student’s vote. The term ‘anything tangible of value’ is up to the discretion of the Student Judicial Board.”

Walton has since appealed the Election Commission’s decision to disqualify him. The Student Judicial Board, also known as the SJB, will review the case — the date and time for this review have not been decided at this time. 

If the board accepts the appeal and chooses to reverse the Election Commission’s decision then the candidate with the most votes in yesterday’s runoff will win. Election results are planned to be released this Monday, April 6, at noon, according to Atlanta Speaker Pro Tempore and Vice-Chair of Marketing for the Atlanta Election Commission Terry Fye.

If the SJB rejects the appeal, the Election Commission’s decision will hold and Thomas will automatically win the election due to Walton’s disqualification.

Editor’s Note: Ada Wood, editor-in-chief of The Signal, contributed to this story.