Qualtrics Election Form Allows for Double Votes

by David Daniels, Staff Writer & Caroline Cabral, Editor-in-Chief

“No person shall vote more than once for the same office, referendum, initiative, or officer recall in any election,” per the official 2018 Election Rule 6.2.7. However, in the minutes of the May 8 Elections Committee meeting, ASSOU Vice President and Elections Chair,  Leo McCaffrey revealed, “someone has voted for themselves three times.”

Prior to the election, there was meeting during which candidates went over these rules. According to McCaffrey, “this candidate did sign in that she went to the meeting and signed the rules.”

During the committee’s meeting, Associate Justice Tyler Jefferies revealed even with the three invalid votes the candidate used on herself, she won the plurality. Jefferies said, “she won by two after judicial went in and validated all votes. We invalidated all three of their votes and they still won by 2 votes.”

ASSOU’s Judicial Rules demand that the Judicial branch validate the election (20.4- 20.5 with its subsections), which allows for the discrepancy between official and unofficial results which The Siskiyou covered via social media. Neither the Judicial Minutes from April 30  nor the Election Committee minutes from May 8 mention the candidate’s name nor their position. However, the only position that had a winner not included on official results when compared to the unofficial results is Campus Life and Housing Senator.

At the April 30 Judicial Meeting, Jeffries said, “20 people voted more than once with one voting 3 times.” These repeated votes adds to 41. Each candidate whose win was validated won by a margin greater than 41 except Student Life and Housing in which Emery Rafka beat the sitting senator Jessica Lee by  a vote of 168 to 157.

At the May 2 Judicial meeting, after determining the validity of the votes, Rafka won the plurality in a vote “154 for emery [sic] and 152 for Jessica [sic],” said Chief Justice Brandon Zarringhalam in the minutes. “There is plurality, but i [sic] am annoyed this person voted for themselves 3 times.”  

Associate Justice John Helmer made the following motion which passed 3-0-0: “Motion to refer the potential ethical violation by emery rafka in the campus life and housing race to the elections committee.”

Since then, the Elections Committee decided to file a grievance through a motion made by Ruby Nink, the Environmental Affairs Senator. The motion passed 2-1-1. McCaffrey said he sent Rafka email on Thursday, May 3 but as of today has still not gotten a response. 

Before the vote, Jordan Marshall, a student at large, said “This is like a technical problem with how qualtrics works.” He called the motion, “a mistake.” He said, “It is arbitrary–the feeling that this violation of the rules is different from the others. We are disrupting an ongoing election that people voted for this person,” he continued. “I think this is a serious mistake and unethical behavior if we do it.”

There is an active grievance from the elections committee, McCaffery said, “We are very interested in knowing what happened…We are more interested in the facts of what happened and why this happened.”

In the Qualtrics form the creator can make it so the survey link sent to student emails cannot be opened twice. McCaffery chose to make the link accessible multiple times because “students went to votes and didn’t vote right then and there because they weren’t ready, clicked out of it and were locked out forever.”

In a Judicial meeting on Friday regarding the ongoing election validation process and the reviewing of on-going grievances submitted from the election committee that emerged during the validation process, The Chief Justice said they received Election Committee’s grievance, but did not need to decide the format by which it would be handled yet. “Really,” he said. “This stage, we are referring to all parties to collect relevant information.”

The Siskiyou Reached out to Rafka three times for comment via email but did not receive a response.

 

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