As already explained on this blog, there was drama in this year’s election as there is every year. It started off with petty squabbling or things of this nature. A lot of us had thrown all of our efforts into our campaign and tried and not get sucked into any of the drama. It is too complicated and too much hassle over nothing.
While out campaigning, we started to witness the foul play as it began. Candidates were findings their campaign posters discarded in bins or trodden all over the campus floor.
Then there was foul play with the online voting system, while we were out campaigning on campus.
We try and speak to as many students possible to secure as many votes as we could. Also to engage with our fellow students and find out how, if elected, we can help them in their university experience.
Having permission from the Student Union, all candidates, including myself took iPads on campus in the hopes of making the voting process a little easier on our fellow students.
It also gave students a chance to put a face to name and ask us personally about our manifesto and our aims and goals if we are elected.
Though using iPads were allowed, we as candidates were given specific instructions. We were to help the students to log-in and guide them to and through the voting system. We cannot and should not take the iPads off the voter or vote for them, they had to do it themselves and cast their own votes without any pressure from the candidates.
Almost immediately there was alienations of cheating. Candidates often moved around in groups, so we were always near someone with an iPad. We also saw it as an opportunity to socialise and talk amongst ourselves before getting votes. I found this very beneficial to me and loved getting to know my fellow candidates.
Standing in groups and eager to get votes, I presume, some candidates were getting their fellow students to log in and then taking the iPads off them and casting the votes on behalf of the student instead of allowing them to cast their vote as instructed.
Further to that, there was allegations of these same candidates not logging the student out straight away and casting votes for other candidates in their group before eventually logging them out. I don’t think candidates and students would have noticed if it wasn’t for the voting system process that year.
When they logged in, students could select the drop-down menu that there was, which would direct them to the individual categories, to save them going through each category one by one. Students preferred to vote this way if they haven’t spoken to the candidates in the other categories yet.
Most saved their vote for when they have spoken to other candidates and are confident in who they are voting for.
However, candidates found, when the students logged in to vote for them, their category did not appear on the drop-down menu, which would mean that student has already cast their vote in that category. Students found it strange as they reassured us that they hadn’t cast their vote for that category yet.
Though we were all quietly aware of these actions and allegations, we tried to disregard this and concentrate on our own campaigning but we couldn’t get rid of the nagging thoughts that our opponents were doing this to secure extra votes.
Since the elections, there has been a small number of protests particularly against the election results and the disagreement that was involved.
Following these protests, there has been various meeting to decide how to proceed. The meetings have gone on and I feel deflated by it all. I am saddened by the whole situation to be honest and feel sorry for those who ran a good honest campaign alongside myself.