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September 28, 2009 | by  | in News |
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By-Election was botched for reals

Salient can now confirm that parts of VUWSA’s July by-election have been ruled invalid by an independent arbitration panel.

The election of Max Hardy, Caitlin Dunham and Guy Williams, to the positions of Vice President (Administration), Women’s Rights Officer and Activities Officer respectively, were ruled not to have been conducted in accordance with the requirements of VUWSA’s constitution.

The panel ruled the inclusion of “No Confidence” in electronic ballots did affect those election’s outcomes.

“Voters who cast electronic ballots in these elections were provided with an option they ought not to have been, and substantial num­bers took up that option in each of the races.

“It would be wrong to infer that, although there is nothing in the Constitution to allow a ‘no confidence’ option in contested elections, the Constitution’s silence means that someone—it is not clear who—has the option of choosing to conduct such elections with a ‘no confidence’ option,” the panel reported.

The election of Zachary Dorner and Luke Cao as Environmental Officer and International Officer was determined to be valid.

VUWSA President Jasmine Freemantle said that while she wasn’t required to follow the panel’s recommendations, she asked Hardy, Dunham and Williams to leave their positions.

“I do play by the book very closely and I thought it was appropriate to follow the recommendations. Those three individuals have been dealt with accordingly.

“As far as Max Hardy and Caitlin Dunham are concerned, that hasn’t been decided, and I don’t think it’s appropriate to make any calls until the general election has been completed,” Freemantle said.

VUWSA Association Manager and by-election Returning Officer Mark Maguire had been spoken to about the by-election and procedures surrounding the carrying out of elections had been addressed, Freemantle said.

Both Max Hardy and Caitlin Dunham are seeking election in this year’s VUWSA general election for the positions of President and Women’s Rights Officer respectively.

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