Tampering rumors disproved

Allegations of election tampering were raised and quickly dismissed, prior to spring break according to officials in the Student Confederation, AU's student government.

After the final results of the election were announced March 4, a student posted on the American Daily Jolt, a Web log administered by AU students, that she could vote on the my.american Web portal from her room. Responding posts caused Gordon Simonett, speaker of the General Assembly, AU's undergraduate student-body legislature, to look into the matter. Kyle Harding, chair of the Board of Elections, investigated the matter with Simonett, e-operations and Student Activities.

"Through the investigation, e-ops, Student Activities, and myself as well as [Simonett] all came to the same conclusion," Harding said, "That no offsite voting had occurred as the rumor had said. No double voting occurred as well."

Once the investigation was complete, Simonett posted an official response on the Daily Jolt, stating, "There were no double votes, that there were no votes at all performed outside of the polling place in [Mary Graydon Center], and that there was no unauthorized access that compromised the integrity of the system."

The issue of offsite voting and repeat voting was brought up after last year's spring elections prompting a switch to paper ballots for the fall election by then BOE Chair Polson Kanneth. Harding worked with e-operations to go over glitches in the site prior to the spring election cycle, he said.

"In speaking with people at e-operations, they said that all those claims in the past had also been problematic," Harding said. "We spent a lot of time with e-operations before the election just going through the system. Figuring out how it works. Working out any problems that we caught to try and make it work as cleanly as possible."

Prior to the election, Harding had discussed an outside vendor to run online voting with the GA, but he has since decided that would be unnecessary.

"The other system has its limitations," Harding said. "With the price that they were quoting us at, it would probably not be worth it, considering e-operations does it all basically for free for us. The GA and SC does not pay to use this system."

"I recommend going with this current system, but again, that decision gets made by future BOEs," he added.

A full affidavit on this matter is to be submitted in Harding's official report. The final election results will be certified by the GA on Sunday, including the ratification of two amendments to the SC Constitution, when Harding's report is presented.

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