NORTHFIELD, Minn. – A cloud of controversy is hanging over Carleton College’s student government as Quinn Buhman ’24 was allegedly “elected” CSA president in Sunday’s controversial vote, outperforming Stephanie Lee ’24 and Shaheer Jaffar ’24 in a three-way contest for Carleton’s top job. There are serious doubts about the validity of these results, with campus rife with legitimate concerns about the integrity of CSA’s election process.
Sources purport that the Buhman campaign shuttled St. Olaf students across the Cannon to illegally vote in the election. One anonymous Parish resident reported “see[ing] hordes of Oles pouring up College Street to hop on Eduroam and vote in the CSA elections.” The student went on to admit that they themselves had voted twice for Stephanie Lee. As they put it, “I’m just exercising my right to double-vote. What’s the big deal?”
To add to the controversy, the CSA election was conducted using a Dominion Voting Systems-powered Google Form, leading to mistrust in the results. Furthermore, election officials were later forced to reissue the form after allegations of widespread voter fraud, mandating that every voter present a Carleton email on their ballot. Some question the legitimacy of this process and allege extensive voter suppression caused by the implementation of restrictive Voter ID laws and the nullification of early votes from the original ballot.
The widespread voter suppression claims are buoyed by the historically low turnout for the 2023 election, with just 38.6% of Carleton’s student body voting in the presidential election compared to 46.6% in 2021 and 47.1% in 2020. “My best guess is that 46.6 minus 38.6 equals 9,” said math major Teddy Barfield ’24. “I’m no stats major, but that seems like a significant drop in voter participation.”
A whistle-blower on Carleton’s College Budget Committee recounted that Buhman accepted and issued bribes in Byerly Bucks throughout their tenure as CSA treasurer. In the lead up to the election, Buhman apparently received three massive payments from pro-STEM lobbying groups at Carleton, explaining Buhman’s pro-STEM platform pivot.
When asked to comment, former CSA president and embattled US Congressman George Santos ’94 responded: “Committing fraud, breaking campaign rules and lying in general like the candidates did in the CSA election is something I condemn strongly and could never fathom doing myself!” Santos also noted that last weekend’s drag show was “something I wish we had back when I was a student here at Carleton University —whoops, I mean Carleton College.”
Carleton students are urged to take action and prevent the scandal-ridden Buhman from taking office before his inauguration and certification Spring Term. Word on the street is that Jaffar is planning a “Freeze the Fraud” rally to stand up for Carleton’s democratic processes. As outgoing President Jancyn Appel ’23 said: “THIS IS STUDENT GOVERNMENT Y’ALL BE SO SERIOUS RN.”
Now is the time for students to stand up and stop the steal! Let’s ensure that Carleton’s democratic values, norms and institutions are respected and upheld.
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