The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Decision for a run-off election postponed

On Monday, an agenda was sent out to discuss the action of allocating $12,000 for the purpose of a run-off election, but was unable to be acquired by all senators and the public within the required 24-hour period and was postponed from the originally scheduled Associated Students Senate meeting yesterday to Thursday.

The original agenda for the special Senate meeting was given to senators on Friday, but the revised agenda was published and circulated Monday, which included the run-off election actions. The new agenda also stated an action item to amend the date of the run-off election from April 22-23 to April 29-30 and to approve a ballot of questions about the run-off election.

However, as scheduled originally, Paul Schantz from Information Technology gave a presentation on online voting and discussed how the original online election failed April 8, which lost 232 student votes.

“I personally take full responsibility for the failure of the online election system last week,” said Schantz.

This was the first semester A.S. used a CSUN-based online election system. In the past, A.S. used a system that had to go through five or six different people before eventually reaching the Senate, leaving “room for human error,” he said.

The new system succeeded in keeping student information up-to-date, keeping student data strictly on campus and ensuring that the voters see the correct ballots.

“I recommended that we shut down the online voting at 10:45,” said Schantz. The voting then closed at 11 a.m. and students were restricted to paper ballots the rest of the election.

Voter sessions that were being shared or duplicated was the main reason for the shut down. Though the system was tested with 40-50 people beforehand, it was “insufficient,” said Schantz.

The data from the election was saved, but it cannot be counted.

“We cannot be 100 percent certain that the data recorded was accurate,” said Schantz.

“Our recommendation would be to not count (the votes), but it is not my decision,” he said.

The election was on a virtual server, so the issue of overloading would never be a problem, with “memory that can be dramatically allocated as needed,” said Schantz.

Schantz’s suggestion is to do a “dry run” test of the online system before it could be used in a possible run-off election, but there is still possibility for an error to occur again.

“I cannot guarantee a fool-proof election,” he said.

Some senators were interested in the election results that were recorded, but Schantz, nor anyone else, could not disclose that information.

The “dry test” is scheduled to be Thursday.

“I ideally want the world to test it – rally your troops,” said Schantz.

“Unless it’s fool-proof, we shouldn’t have online voting (in a possible run-off election),” said Sen. Nicole Umali.

“I don’t think the problems will be fixed in time,” she said. “I personally don’t trust it.”

Though the election actions were postponed until Thursday, senators spent over an hour discussing an action item to allocate money to A.S. Legislative Affairs for buses and T-shirts needed for the California State Students Association rally in Sacramento on April 21.

The original action was to use $19,000 total – $18,000 for buses and $1,000 for T-shirts. However, many senators had a different opinion about the amount of money that should be used for this rally.

“We’ve already gone through over 20 speakers on this amendment,” said President Adam Haverstock halfway through the discussion.

The original amendment to change the allocation to $14,000 instead of $19,000 was met with discussion and varied opinions by the senators.

The Senate shot down other amendments that allocated less than $14,000. A standing roll call was requested by Sen. Ricardo Valdez for the final vote, which went back to the original amendment of allocating $14,000 to the rally for four buses, T-shirts and food.

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