Student Senate votes to uphold results of recent flawed election
October 7, 2010
The Student Senate accepted a flawed election as valid Tuesday.
The technical flaw of the online election that ended Monday was that the polls were not password protected, which meant that any person-not just students-would be allowed to vote and could vote multiple times if they voted from separate IP addresses.
Originally, there were less candidates on the ballot than open positions on Senate, said Interm Elections Chair Jayne Dalton. These elections were merely a formality to allow them to be appointed to Senate. However, during the election a write in candidate, Michael Leonard, won more votes than at-large candidate Carlan Strand causing Strand to lose the election.
After learning about the election results, Strand wrote in a letter that he would not like to contest the election.
In order for election results to be contested, a complaint would have to be filed within 48 hours of the election, said Senate President Lee Monson.
With Strand withdrawn, all other candidates that ran plus two write-ins were appointed to Senate.
The motion, drafted by Senator Tyler Halverson, did three things: accepted the flaws of the election; confirmed the appointment of at-large senators Ashley Goettl, Michael Leonard, Aaron Berman, first-year senators Charlotte Evans and Annette Sherer, and College of Education and Professional Studies representative Jim Aerts; and set a deadline for current paid Senators to create a time-line for election procedure reform by Oct. 19 with the stipulation that should that deadline not be met, paid senators will suffer a 75 percent pay decrease.
“This motion is giving us the kick in the pants that we need to begin our work on election reform,” Dalton said.
While she said she is not happy with the egregious flaws of the election, Dalton said accepting the motion was the best way for the Senate to move forward and begin work on other issues.