The 2013 SAC election(s) will certainly be one to remember. There was voter fraud, a complete revote, and Marc Garneau CI’s very first presidential debate.
Campaign week began on Monday 13 May with candidates taping posters throughout first-floor halls and the cafeteria. One of the posters of a candidate for Clubs Convenor was deemed inappropriate and taken down by administration. Speeches were held during fifth period on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for different grades. The presidential debate, hosted by The Reckoner, was held after school in the library on Wednesday 15 May. Finally, SAC members went around to early period classes on Friday to distribute ballots and collect votes. Notable errors on the ballot were a mis-spelling in one candidate’s name and the inclusion of a candidate who had no longer been in the race.
The voting was managed with a lack of diligence. It was not verified that every student who voted for the Grad Convenor position was in eleventh grade, in accordance with the original plan. Many classes returned a greater number of ballots than the number of students in the class, and there were thrice as many returned ballots as students checking in to vote during the voting for students with early period spare.
A revote was thus held for students with early period spare on 22 May. This process was administered by vice-principals who checked off student voters to prevent duplicate votes. The results of the first election were then announced the same day, although the results for Grad Convenor were undetermined until a revote for that position on Friday 24 May.
The following weekend of 1 June, news of the mismanaged elections spread to the student body. School administration confirmed that the results of the first election would be nullified and that a second, complete re-election would be conducted.
The full re-election was structured differently, with students in different grades voting on different days, numbered ballots to help prevent fraud, and only vice-principals and guidance counsellors handling the ballots and distributing them to the classes. With voting taking place from 29-31 May, the results were announced on 3 June.
With the elections finally over, administration has begun to investigate future options for preventing this year’s mishap from reoccurring and streamlining the counting and collection process. The option of a secure online voting system is under consideration.
Finally, it has also been made clear that the election troubles were not solely the result of poor management – certain students purposely rigged the election by slipping in false ballots to have particular candidates elected. There has been no further word on the specifics of this from administration.