By Adam Segal
An information technology management student who lost his bid for reelection to RyeSAC’s board of directors last week says sloppy work by election officials may have cost him a victory.
Christopher West, a second-year ITM student, will appeal his last-place finish because the original list of eligible voters didn’t inlcude ITM students. West feels this was a major factor in his last-place finish.
The problem with the voters list occurred when Ryerson’s registration and records department provided RyeSAC only with the names of students in the school of business management instead of the entire faculty of business.
Consequently, hundreds of students in TIM, retail management and hospitality and tourism management were not included on the voters list.
Poll clerks used the incomplete list for the advance poll on March 26, and half of election day on March 28.
“If [students left off the list] had been able to vote all day on the 28th, I think you would have seen much different … numbers,” West said.
West, who was acclaimed last year as RyeSAC’s faculty of business director, became aware of the problem when he tried to vote on March 28 at 1 p.m.
“I slapped down my student card and poll clerk looked at me and said ‘Are you sure you’re in business?’” West said. “When I said,” ‘I’m in ITM,’ the poll clerk told me he had already turned a bunch of people away.”
West complained to Allan Craigie, the election’s chief returning officer, who then provided a revised list of all eligible Ryerson voters to poll clerks. About an hour later, the problem had been corrected.
“Personally, I wish it never happened,” Craigie said. “We could have gotten the right list to begin with.”
To remedy the situation, polls were kept open an additional day on March 29 from 12 to 6 p.m.
Andrew Noble, RyeSAC’s student issues and advocacy co-ordinator, said the extra day was the busiest of the three days, with an estimated 70 students ticking off ballots.
In total, 175 ballots were cast in the board of directors election.
West still thinks the results may have been skewed because of the initial error. “The only way this can change now is to have an appeal and possible a reelection, to have things made fair.”