Counting continues for the ANUSA elections as claims of controversial campaigning tactics swirl.
Currently, ACT Elections are continuing the mammoth effort of counting over 2100 votes in the Chancellery. This is the highest number of votes seen in an ANUSA election since 2002. 20% of students voted in this years race which included nine Presidential candidates, reflecting the growing interest in student politics amongst undergraduate students.
According to scrutineers, voters had a tendency to vote for specific candidates rather than by ticket preferences. This means a wider range of candidates will be elected, particularly to General Representative (Gen Rep) positions.
At the time of print, the only position that had been confirmed was Gabi Imperial for Fetch who took out a Gen Rep position with 123 first preference votes. The first NUS position will go to Laura Campbell for Connect with 179 first preferences.
Undoubtedly the most popular candidate is ‘Informal/Exhausted’. Informal/Exhausted votes do not count, and with most categories filing at least 300 Informal/Exhausted votes, it could have done some significant damage to some tickets. Many of the Informal/Exhausted votes have been due to a misunderstanding of how to vote. According to the ACT Elections staff, many voters preferenced every candidate in each ticket – voting down the line rather than across the entire ballot paper – thus rendering the vote invalid.
Allegations continue to swirl around Fetch’s controversial campaigning tactics. Probity Officers have received numerous complaints about allegations of ‘bullying’ and ‘intimidation’, particularly concerning Fetch General Secretary candidate Megan Lane [see article ‘Probity Bites’ pg. 6]. Rumours have been circulating that Fetch candidates were feeding incorrect information to International Students during campaigning, thereby coercing votes for Fetch. These allegations were not bought to the Probity Officers and at time of print were unfounded.
The results for the Executive are expected to be announced this Thursday the 4th of September. As preferences have indicated that voters have jumped between tickets, it looks as though the ANUSA 2015 Executive will be nothing short of colourful.