The Athletics Union is to press ahead with the installation of the electronic voting system in this year’s second phase of elections. The decision has been made to do this despite the problems experienced by the Students Union at last week’s elections, which saw complaints being made to the Services Officer, questioning the reliability of the system.
A lack of understanding of the electronic voting system at this year’s SU election has been blamed by some members of the student body for the election controversy. This is all the more significant given that eventual winner of the Presidency Rich Coker won by a mere 33 votes.
Despite this controversy, the decision has been made by the AU to implement the same system for next term’s AU elections, at which positions such as Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary will be decided upon. “Voting will be online this year” was Nik engineer’s definitive answer on the subject. The AU President’s confidence in the system is perhaps justified given that unlike with the AU Presidency vote, only the AU are in a position to vote at the second phase of elections, reducing the scope for error. It does however raise the issue of how to ensure that only the AU vote online.
For this, the AU plans to cross reference those who vote with the database of fully-paid AU members. Indeed, though the system is not fully in place yet, Nik Engineer, does not consider it to be a problem at all, and considers the new system to have been a “fantastic success, as it has functioned flawlessly.” The system has the added benefit of saving the Students Union £4,000 a year.
All the elections of positions, except the (already decided) position of Presidency are to see a reshuffle, as the AU seeks to increase the professionalism of the occasion. For the first time, the elections will not take place at the customary AGM, but will take place on a date of their own. Newly elected AU President Tom Moore hopes this will result in a “more official” air to proceedings. Though current AU President Nik Engineer claims it is “impossible to gauge” the numbers of candidates for the vacant posts within the AU, the amount of interest expressed has been “no less than normal, or perhaps a little more than normal”. President-in-waiting Tom Moore was similarly enthused by the extent of the interest. This is an encouraging fact that perhaps suggests the uncontested AU Presidency elections are to prove to be something of an aberration.