SG ballots go online without choices for student senators

Students who logged in to vote during the first hour and a half of the Student Government election period could only vote for executive positions. (Screenshot)
Students who logged in to vote during the first hour and a half of the Student Government election period could only vote for executive positions. (Screenshot)

The online ballot for Student Government’s Spring 2012 elections that went live early Monday morning excluded the section in which to vote for student senators. Now fixed, the ballot only presented students with voting options for student body president and vice president.

Less than 130 students were affected by the “irregularity,” according to Election and Disputes Commission chairman David Bier, who said Monday morning that the students who only got to vote for executive positions will be contacted about how they can still vote for student senators.

“We are currently in the process of going back and ensuring that all those people do have the opportunity to vote in the senate campaign, so everything is fair and balanced,” said Bier. A separate ballot for voting on just the student senators has been set up for the students affected, Bier told Connect2Mason late afternoon.

Students who logged into CollegiateLink to vote in the Student Government elections for both executive positions and student senators during the voting period’s first hour and a half were only presented with the executive positions due to an “irregularity,” according to an email from Bier. Shortly after becoming aware of the issue, the EDC, the students in SG who are tasked with maintaining the elections, noted their awareness and efforts to correct the issue in an email to interested parties about 45 minutes after polls opened.

Those who logged in to vote after the official start of the voting period at 12:15 a.m. on April 2 faced only one page in which they could vote, which included the list of the two tickets running for student body president and vice president, and a place for write-in candidates. Students were able to vote for both the executive positions and senate seats by at least 1:49 a.m., the time at which records show a student successfully submitted a ballot completed in each section, according to Bier.

An email sent to the student body about the elections timestamped 9:55 a.m. did not note Monday morning’s problem, according to Bier, because it was written several weeks ago and submitted to the University Registrar, who has access to the student list-serv. The email outlined the voting process, including that the period continues until 12:15 a.m. on April 4.

Donald Garrett, the former student senator whom, along with Michael Jordan, the Election and Disputes Commission recently removed from the ballot, sent the EDC a grievance early this morning, before the EDC’s note of fixing the situation, in which he questioned the constitutionality of the election. In it, he calls for a new election for student senators and a hearing on the matter.

Read the grievance. 

Bier said that he wouldn’t comment on the grievance until further review as, in addition to academics, his and the EDC efforts now are on rectifying the situation. He said that with the efforts to reach out and allow those affected the opportunity to fully participate, the grievance was likely now a “moot point.”

“We’re making sure no one feels disenfranchised, or anything of the like,” said Bier. 


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