Fifty-one votes cast for general representatives and NUS delegates have been deleted in the ongoing ANUSA election.
The error in the system, run by the company Membership Solutions Limited (MSL), made voting for two of the tickets – Activate Your ANUSA and Stand Apart for ANUSA – impossible between 7:05pm and 8:05pm on Monday.
The ANUSA president, James Connolly, told Woroni: ‘Students who had their votes deleted received a direct email from MSL informing them of the system error and asking them to vote again. ANUSA will communicate the issue through our social media channels and have asked all the candidates to be of assistance.’
Connolly said: ‘It was Membership Solutions Limited’s fault. The system error was entirely out of the control of ANUSA’.
The Shake Up ANUSA presidential candidate, Cameron Allan, said: ‘It’s frustrating when the infrastructure we rely on to run a secure election doesn’t work’, but that ‘the response of really quickly invalidating the votes because not everyone could vote, and then sending emails out, was probably the best solution.’
The Lift ANUSA presidential candidate, Eleanor Kay, said: ‘I trust the general secretary, and the president and the probity officer and the return officer – they made the call, they know the full information’.
Nick Douros, the ticket convenor of Activate Your ANUSA, commended ANUSA’s response as well. When asked whether he would challenge the results for general representatives and NUS delegates if the results are close, he said that ‘it’s unlikely, I’d have to look at to look at the specific data to see whether that one hour period had a huge effect’.
However Ashish Nagesh, Stand Apart for ANUSA’s ticket convenor, hit out at the process.
‘These lost votes have exclusively been for gen rep and NUS delegate positions, disadvantaging Stand Apart and Activate against larger tickets. We should investigate why these votes are lost and reconsider what can be done to prevent it… the ANUSA executive should expose to all students how much this software contract costs,’ he said.
Connolly said that a review of elections with MSL has already been organised, and will take place after the election.