The results of this year's hotly contested ICU Sabbatical Elections were due to be announced this evening at 7pm in dBs. With a record turnout of something over 2800 students voting, this promises to be an exceptional year for getting students involved in the Sabbatical Elections and for ensuring calls for representation are met.
However, following several complaints, some serious, throughout the election time, the results are now due to be announced at tomorrow evening's Council meeting instead with a live count at the beginning. Returning Officer Mustafa Arif has assured students that "Complaints are being dealt with, and will be resolved before any count," blaming the delays in informing those involved on a "backlog of emails." The election's committee has been conviened this afternoon to discuss and respond to the various complaints. Some of these complaints are believed to include the posting of candidates' publicity around departmental computer rooms, raising the question of whether computers constitute ballot boxes in an online election; and problems with voters' logins and the consequent extension of voting by twelve hours until noon today.
Following his mass email of the college electoral body yesterday, Mr Arif issued an email to the candidates at 9am this morning informing them of the extension. This was to do with problems with logins for some students, most of which turned out to be that they did not know their correct ICT login password that was required in order to login. As these several hundred emails were responded to overnight, he took it upon himself to extend the voting to ensure they would have ample time to read his reply and then vote. At the candidates meeting this lunchtime, all the candidates opposed this action but they were powerless to oppose the action as voting had closed by then. Colin Smith, presidential candidate, also raised an issue regarding the security of the ballot, and demanded that the votes be able for inspection and a hand count. Mr Arif responded that in all elections, they are subject to abuse and assured Mr Smith that an online ballot is more secure as less people have access to the information.
The announcement of results is now at the top of the agenda for tomorrow's meeting, which will begin at 7pm in the Union Dining Hall.