AMS Special Assembly ranked ballot vote results cause confusion

AMS Communications corrects statement vote results twice

The special meeting of AMS Assembly on Feb. 1.

Last week, the incoming AMS Executive was appointed at a seven-hour-long special meeting of Assembly. AMS President Jennifer Li called the meeting after the dissolution of Team ECN, as the appointment of a new executive team was required. 

On Feb 2., The Journal  reported at approximately 2 a.m. that AMS Secretary Neil Sengupta announced Team MLM had won “in a 33 to one vote.” Sengupta called the announcement “the biggest of my 21 years.” 

However, a statement released by the AMS later that morning indicated the results were read incorrectly. “The results were mistakenly read from an incorrect line on the report which described the final result as being ‘33 to 1 on the fourth ballot’,” the statement read.

In the statement, the AMS clarified how the ranked ballot vote was broken down. Here, voters were able to rank candidates by preference from one to three, or they could select none of the above.

“As second-preference and third-preference votes were redistributed from both Team TMZ (Tyler Macintyre, Matt Le and Ziyu Horwitz) and from none-of-the-above, the third and decisive ballot was deadlocked at 17 to 17, forcing Secretary and acting Assembly Speaker Neil Sengupta to cast the tie-breaking vote,” the original statement read.

However, Sengupta didn’t cast the tie-breaking vote. The following day, AMS Communications corrected their first statement.

“The AMS Secretary — in his capacity as acting Speaker — never cast any ballot in the election, contrary to what was claimed in an earlier statement. The AMS apologizes for the error and regrets any confusion caused.”

The revised statement indicated in an earlier version of the release, there was “confusion” about whether the votes from Team ACS would have second preferences redistributed. 

The method used to tally the votes — a single transferable vote (STV) system — calls for the team who received the lower vote total in prior rounds to have their votes redistributed. “This resulted in the system automatically redistributing the ballots from Team ACS, as they received fewer votes in the second round of balloting relative to Team MLM,” the release read.

The revised press release gave a more thorough breakdown of the results on the ranked ballot. “On the first round, the results were 13-13-6-2 (Votes for MLM, ACS, none of the above, and TMZ, respectively),” the statement reads. “As no team reached the 50%+1 threshold on their first round, the option with the lowest votes, Team TMZ, was dropped and their votes were redistributed.”

“This resulted in a breakdown of 15-13-6 (MLM, ACS, none of the above, respectively). With no team reaching 50%+1 of votes cast, the options for none of the above were dropped, and those votes were redistributed to yield an even split of votes, 17-17.”

Rather than a tie-breaking vote to end the deadlock, the STV vote tallying system redistributed the votes. “Although Team ACS and Team MLM had the same votes in the first round, Team ACS received fewer votes in the second round of voting relative to MLM,” the release read. 

“As such, they were dropped from contention. This resulted in 33 votes in favour of MLM, with one ballot exhausted as no further.”


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