By Eric Lam
Despite accusations that a Board of Governors candidate hijacked another student’s computer to vote for himself last week, Ryerson will continue using online voting for board elections.
Ryerson’s general counsel Julia Hanigsberg said the elections had the highest voter turnout ever, coming in at 5.1 per cent and so there was no reason to cancel the electronic ballot.
But at least one student said he was wronged when a candidate voted on his behalf.
Simon Strelchik, a student candidate, allegedly entered a computer lab in Kerr Hall East last Thursday evening and used Jon K.’s Ryerson account to vote for himself.
“This was disrespectful, annoying, and generally sneaky,” Jon K., a fourth year Industrial Engineering student, said. “It pissed me off.”
According to Jon K., Strelchik entered the lab and handed out slips of paper offering a $150 refund to every student if he was elected. Jon K. opened his RAMSS account to vote, and it open as he looked at a poster on the wall outside.
Before Jon K. left the room, he claims he turned around and saw Strelchik “clicking away” at his computer. By the time Jon K. returned to his seat, Strelchik was leaving the lab.
“He laughed it off. He sort of shrugged, (like it was no big deal),” Jon K. said.
Strelchik chose not respond to several Eyeopener attempts to contact him.
Catherine Redmond, the chief returning officer for the election, refused comment when approached last Friday afternoon, about two hours before the polls closed.
According to Hanigsberg, all candidates had been warned not to campaign in computer labs as late as last Thursday afternoon, just hours before the alleged incident.
In results released Monday, Strelchik earned only 86 votes, as Ibrahim (Abe) Snobar, Samih Abdelgadir and Mohammed Halawani were elected to the Board of Governors by a wide margin.
As of Tuesday morning, Hanigsberg had not received a formal complaint and no action has been taken against Strelchik.
“We weren’t happy about the problems (this year),” Hanigsberg, said, referring to 113 online votes that were lost due to a computer glitch last Monday, the first day of voting.
In defense of using online voting, despite the problems this year, she cites an increased voter turnout and ease of access for commuter students.