Students will have to wait a little bit longer to find out who their first-year senator will be. The election which was slated for this past Monday and Tuesday has been moved back a day due to a technical error in voter selection methods.
With the candidates down to six, all first-year students are urged to cast their ballots again due to the technical error that allowed not only the first-year undergraduate students to vote, but also the first-year graduate students and first-year law students to vote, too. Due to this oversight, all votes cast have been deemed void.
“For the first-year election, obviously the only people allowed to vote in the election are first-year students,” said Student Body President Samantha Haas.
The small error, noticed by Alex Bergman, the chair of the election commission, enabled 500 more students to vote than expected.
“It is the goal of the election commission to ensure that the election process is fair,” Bergman said. For the election to be fair, all of the ballots cast had to be voided because no one knew how many graduate students voted due to anonymity.
“The only ethical thing we could do was to re-do the election,” Haas said.
As soon as the mistake was noticed, Drake IT was contacted and almost as soon as it was spotted, it was fixed.
“Technical failures occur, and it’s no one to blame,” Bergman said. “Drake IT has been fantastic in helping me implement these changes.”
With this being the first time that a first-year senator will be elected, there had to be a selection in the system for just first-year, undergraduate students. Now that the glitch is fixed, there will be exactly 864 ballots for the first-year election.
All of the first-year candidates were notified Monday night about the technical failure and were given one extra day to campaign and get the word out to other students to vote once again.
“They need to be able inform their peers of what occurred without fear of reprisal,” Bergman said.
As many know, campaigning during the voting period is illegal, and is cause for immediate disqualification. So candidates were given until 11:59 p.m. last Tuesday to finish campaigning and to update any social media events about the situation.
Since this has happened, procedures have already been put in place to help ensure this will not happen again through the IT office and through passing down this information to the next chairs of the election commission.
An e-mail was also sent out to all of the first-year students to let them know that they can still vote for the first-year senator position. Now though, voting will take place from Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 12:01 a.m. until Thursday, Nov. 11 at 11:59 p.m.
“I would just hope that all first-year students do go out and vote on this,” Haas said.
An election results event will be held at Pomerantz Stage later tonight to see if there is either a new senator at the table, or if a run-off election will begin, and everyone is invited to attend.
“Regardless of any mistakes, this is exciting,” Bergman said. “This has never occurred before.”
Voting ends tonight at 11:59 p.m. First-year students can vote by logging into BlueView and going to the ‘Campus Life’ tab. At midnight on Pomerantz Stage in Olmsted, the winner of the election will be announced.