The UNBSU will be looking at ways to prevent future technical errors in their general election voting process.
Last week, it was discovered there was more than just the Board of Governors ballot that was affected by technical and clerical errors. A nursing representative was accidentally left off the ballot and the SUB board ballot also included a candidate not running for the position. The Brunswickan board of directors ballet also had a yes/no option for each candidate, when there was only one position available on the board.
UNBSU chief returning officer Shahla Yousuf said the accidental errors were caused by different factors that were unique to this year, along with miscommunication with IT services.
“Given the strike we had this year, we had an accelerated time frame to execute the [election] . . . With the staggered and delayed return of candidates to campus, collecting and verifying information was an arduous process,” Yousuf said.
“It was a combination of all the delays [as well as] logistical and communication hurdles we faced compounded by the number of people involved that led to the errors in online voting this year.”
Current UNB Student Union president Ben Whitney said all of the errors have been straightened out. The BoG candidates and the nursing candidate had a new voting period last week. The accidental SUB board candidate was simply disregarded and the Brunswickan decided to work with two student board representatives next year.
“I apologized to the candidates I talked to for the inconvenience. I know it’s frustrating in a campaign to have this kind of thing happen,” Whitney said. “It was just human error and we’re apologized and done all we can to rectify it and we’ll try to put [procedures] in place so it doesn’t happen again.”
Yousuf said she would like to see a more comprehensive communication plan with IT services for future elections.
“I would also like to see a push towards automation in terms of information entry of the candidates, so that candidates can enter their information electronically and it can be verified faster,” Yousuf said. “This will reduce the number of cases where errors continue propagating through the election process.”
Despite the technical glitches, she said UNB IT Services has done a great job in handling the UNBSU elections.
“Most of the work goes on in the background, like gathering info from multiple sources and its verification, a process which our team and UNB ITS continually works towards improving,” she said.