The ballots collected for the candidates vying for the Arts, Media and Communication (AMC) senate seat will be nullified due to an error that excluded one candidate from the ballot.
If there is a scheduled run-off for the primary elections the candidates for AMC will be added to the ballot. If not, the Elections Committee will hold a special election that could cost up to $5,000, said Mazen Hafez the director of elections.
For a candidate to be elected they must receive over 50 percent of the votes. If they don’t there will be a run-off between the top two contenders. A run-off is common for the presidential elections.
‘It was bad communication made from our part and the people who made the ballot, it made it through all the provisions we made and we missed it,’ said Chester Inong Assistant Director of the Election Committee.
The error was caught when candidates noticed that the name of Julio Palacol who is running on the A-Team slate was not on the ballot, they then notified Hafez.
A decision has yet to be made on what action will be taken, but most likely a run-off election will take place next week on April eighth and ninth due to the number of candidates that are running for president and vice president, said Hafez.
Palacol had been campaigning on campus three weeks prior to Election Day and started reaching out to students at 7 a.m. on the first day that students were allowed to vote.
‘It is embarrassing and unprofessional on the behalf of the elections committee,’ said Palacol. ‘I am not letting this get me down, but it just hurts when people say they wanted to vote for me but that I was not on the ballot.’
Palacol along with the other candidates still plan to campaign for themselves and their slate until the run-off elections take place next week.
‘It was an error on my end and I offer my apologies to that candidate,’ said Hafez. ‘We are still going to keep elections going because we need to get the results for the other candidates in interest of fairness.’
‘Mistakes happen,’ said Hafez.
This marks the fourth semester in a row that the Elections Committee has run into problems. During previous semesters they tried using an online voting system that resulted in students not being able to log on, ballots being pre-selected and systems crashing.
This semester the elections committee tried to avoid any technical problems and turned back to traditional forms of voting.
‘I think this goes to show how many mistakes the elections committee has made as far as the debates go for the college of AMC,’ said Brent E. Zitsman, one of the AMC candidates, commenting on the fact that there was a last minute room change for the debates that caused confusion for students who wanted to attend.
‘It is disappointing because of all the campaigning efforts that we have put on today and tomorrow,’ said Vianney Moran a junior political science major who is a full supporter of the A-Team slate.
‘Who knows if people will want to vote again for the second time. It is a pretty big error,’ said Moran.