Online Exclusive: Online voting irregularities plague SU election

Due to a technical error, students were unable to vote in the Students’ Union by-election during its opening hours.

The difficulty occurred the morning of Tues., Oct. 18 when the server for Canvote-the online voting company the SU uses to administer its elections-went down and students were not able to log on to the system vote.

“It’s one of things that happens when you use computers and servers,” said su president Emily Wyatt. “The main concern lies with the students trying to vote from their home computers.”

Wyatt noted she will meet with su chief returning officer Mike Brown to ensure the rest of the process moves smoothly, and may extend the voting for extra time.

As a result, polling stations around campus moved to the old-fashioned paper and pencil method until technical difficulties could be resolved, said Wyatt.

This is not the first time online voting difficulties have arisen since the su moved from a paper to an online voting system in 2002.

In the 2002 general election, students were not able to log on to vote on the initial day of the election and voting was extended for an extra day.

Again, during the 2004 general election, some voters were not able to log on to the system and some voters pre-selected candidates on their ballots. These and other reported irregularities resulted in presidential runner-up Phil Barski appealing the election. Though Barski’s appeal failed, the 2004 election used Sorex Software and the difficulties prompted the su to move to its present Canvote software.

su vice-president external Julie Labonte said this is the first voting problem the su has experienced since 2004.

“We changed our software provider after the Barski fiasco, and up until now everything has been going well,” said Labonte.

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