A.S. online elections voting system tested for errors

Kristopher A. Fortin

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Associated Students' (A.S.) director of finance, Shawn Hakim gave a special presentation during the A.S. meeting on Tuesday. The presentation was based on how the A.S. can fund an organization and how to apply for funding.

Associated Students' (A.S.) director of finance, Shawn Hakim gave a special presentation during the A.S. meeting on Tuesday. The presentation was based on how the A.S. can fund an organization and how to apply for funding. Photo Credit: Katie Chavarin

The private online voting service provider that will run Associated Students (A.S.) elections passed the first test after it received positive reviews from a mock election held within A.S.

BigPulse, the private online voting provider, had no problems during the mock elections, said Dan Monteleone, A.S. director of elections. The problems that did occur were due to human error.

For example, Gisselle Jaen, social and behavioral science senator II, did not receive a ballot because Monteleone misspelled her email address. Another senator did not receive the ballot because they gave an email address that used the @csun.edu domain and not the new Gmail domain @my.csun.edu.

The problems that occurred with the mock elections shouldn’t happen during the November A.S. elections, Monteleone said, because the student contact information will be from student records.

The only way students can access their election ballot is if they switch to their CSUN Gmail accounts, or have their account transferred to a personal e-mail address. Currently, 25,000 students have switched over their CSUN e-mail accounts to Gmail while roughly 10,000 students still have not, Monteleone said.

“(We) can’t force them more than the university can,” Monteleone said.

To help facilitate online election voting, two laptops will be at the sole election station in front of the library, where students can switch over to their Gmail accounts.

If the online voting system fails, Monteleone said, the campus will use paper ballots. It would cost $400 to produce the ballots for the A.S. elections, Monteleone said, which can be covered through the A.S. Elections budget.

There are 18 nominees running for Senate II positions. The A.S. Central Office has the list of nominees. Elections are scheduled for Nov. 3 and 4.

Finance Director Shawn Hakim gave a presentation on the A.S. annual budget process and its changes.

He said clubs and organizations don’t need to turn in 19 copies of an Annual Budget request form and signature form. The Annual Budget request form needs to be e-mailed to annualbudget@csunas.org, while students have to print and turn in the signature form to the A.S. Central Office.

The paper-saving changes to the A.S. annual budget process is one way the process is trying to go green, Hakim said.

The annual budget request and signature forms need to be turned in by Nov. 18.