E-ballots re-sent

Electronic ballots for the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society’s (ASUS) fall election were re-sent to students after a system error.

The original voting went from Oct. 25 to 26, and Arts and Science students could cast votes for the society’s senators and representatives to the AMS.

A vote was also held for a representative of the class of 2015. There was also a vote for an international student representative, if voters were international.

On Tuesday morning, some students received multiple ballots in their webmail inboxes, while others were given user names that didn’t match their Net IDs.

The error resulted from a mistake made by VoteNet Solutions, said AMS Commissioner of Internal Affairs Mark Preston. The AMS is responsible for faculty elections and hired VoteNet Solutions to conduct the online voting.

Preston said the company was provided with an excel file of the ASUS voter list.

“For this election one major thing went wrong. The usernames didn’t correspond with the webmail [addresses,]” Preston, ArtSci ’11, said.

The error occurred because the ASUS voters list was sent late to VoteNet, Preston said. This year, the list had to denote a student’s international or domestic status, and this extra process resulted in miscommunication, Preston said.

It’s the first time the AMS has had an issue with VoteNet Solutions, he said.

“I would say in the grand scheme of things, it’s pretty minor. We lost maybe 12 hours.”

Preston said the error with the Net IDs didn’t risk students’ privacy.

“The only problem that it posed was for instance if a fourth-year got a first-year student’s email, they would be voting in a first-year specific question,” he said.

The error also didn’t mean an additional cost for the AMS.

“Any costs we incurred with the sort of flawed ballot they put in they’ve covered and sort of taken off our books,” he said. “One thing that I can really appreciate is that they admitted a flaw and really put in a lot of resources into hammering out a solution.”

Votes cast on the original ballots were discounted and the new voting period began at midnight on Wednesday, running until 6 p.m. on Thursday. The rector elections, which also began Tuesday, were unaffected by the error.

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