Unlike last spring’s tightly-run CSU general elections, during last week’s byelections enough mistakes were made and electoral rules broken to possibly annul the results.
“If the last election was a blockbuster, this one was a sleeper. It didn’t go as well as I would have liked,” said CEO Stephan Herman.
Herman is investigating an incident in which a single promotional pamphlet for candidates Basel Al-Ken, Hassun Kamul, Ramei Wazir, Rob Maguire, Mazin Ali, Carey Dodge, Christine Ghawi, Sobia Virk and Youri Cormier was found at a polling booth on the sixth floor of the Hall Building.
Herman said polling clerks on the fourth floor also informed him of someone who tried to leave like material at their station, who they asked to leave. The nine candidates denied involvement in the incident.
Senate candidate Yohan Benhamron was also issued a verbal warning for illegal campaigning outside the Vanier Library during the polling period.
In a cruel twist, two students running for senate were declared ineligible because they had been registered for the vote under the incorrect faculty. Hassan Kamul, listed as a fine arts student actually should have registered as an independent student, while due to an error on part of the CEO, Maria Perugini was erroneously placed under engineering and computer science instead of the John Molson school of business.
Herman added that he was pleased with overall turnout, which by his estimates meant 1,200 of Concordia’s 29,000 students – twice quorum of 600 – stepped up to the polls during the three-day election period, but said not being able to have polls in the Mezzanine or the lobby definitely hurt turnout. “Had I been able to poll in the lobby, I would have expected nearly 1,800 students to turn up,” he said.