By Chris Tait
The Students’ Union released their official candidate list Wed., Jan. 28, in preparation for the upcoming SU General Election.
"Some serious steps have been taken," warned Chief Returning Officer Shuvaloy Majumdar, referring to the changes in security strategies for this year’s election relative to previous years.
Some of the new features being implemented to prevent misconduct include having plainclothes Returning Officers in addition to the visible ROs, and having complaint forms on the spot as an incident happens to ensure proper documentation. Majumdar is also working with U of C IT specialists to discuss some Internet security options.
"I looked at the bylaws from the campaigners’ perspective and said ‘how can I exploit these to my advantage to win an election?’" said Majumdar. "[I] created a list of prospective ways to cheat."
The result of his efforts is a set of new systems to eliminate the possibility of unfair conduct during the election. Majumdar did not go into detail on all of the measures to be implemented, but explained it was to assure all candidates participate in a fair manner.
"It’s like a hockey game," explained Majumdar. "Some people are going to get body checked, sometimes people might trip a little bit, but I’m just trying to find ways to make sure that people don’t show up on the rink with an AK-47."
The new security measures are in response to previous voting violations, including the recent "wireless voting incident" last semester’s by-election.
The security measures are necessary, given the large number of candidates this year. As of the most recent update, there are over 80 candidates running for the various SU positions.
"We saw that this was going to be a big election as soon as November," said Majumdar.
With the new system in place, there is only one other thing the cRO would like to remind U of C students about.
"Get out to vote," said Majumdar. "You may not care about 12 or 13 legislators who make decisions over you, but you should be concerned, because they do."
Voting takes place Feb. 10-13.