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August 9, 2010 | by  | in News |
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By-Election Results Revealed

No Confidence misses out

Results of the VUWSA by-election were released shortly before 6pm last Thursday, with a candidate elected to each one of the five vacant positions contested.

Although students had the option of voting No Confidence for Vice-President (Education) and International Officer, these positions were won by Bridie Hood with 662 votes and Paul Zhong with 604 votes.

Other successful candidates were Richard Carr as Vice-President (Administration), 317 votes; Tom Reed as Queer Officer, 298 votes; and Timothy Parker as Publications Committee Representative, 753 votes.

Bridie Hood has held the role of Acting Vice-President (Education) for the first half of 2010. When spoken to by Salient, Hood seemed overjoyed with the by-election result.

“I am very very pleased and excited!”

As Vice-President (Education), Hood says she will create stronger ties with education rep groups, faculty delegates and create a strong base at the Karori Campus, with the goal of setting up an education rep group.

Richard Carr was also pleased with his new position.

“I am honoured to be voted as the Vice-President (Administration) for the rest of 2010 and I thank every student who voted in the election.”

Carr says he is dedicated to moving VUWSA towards a more “prosperous and cost-effective future”, so that the organisation is not crippled if Roger Douglas’ VSM bill is passed in parliament.

VUWSA Activities Officer Alan Young also stood for the Vice-President (Administration) position, coming a close second with 297 votes.

As reported in Salient, No Confidence was not offered as an option for Publications Committee Representative, despite there being only one candidate for the position. This is because the inclusion of No Confidence if this situation arises is not specified in the constitution. Students still had the option of selecting ‘no vote’ on their ballot forms.

This anomaly means that a candidate could win the position with just one vote. When Salient raised this with VUWSA President Max Hardy, he said he would look into the issue.

Salient’s Academic Idol competition has not received more votes in total than were cast in the by-election, however, votes cast for the competition last week alone exceeded the 317 votes won by Carr.

Salient requested voter turnout figures from VUWSA Returning Officer Sara Fraser. Salient was told that these were on the bottom line of the first page of the results, marked total.

However, the line specified by the Returning Officer was, in fact, the total number of votes that had been cast across all positions, not the actual number of students who voted.

Assuming that a student places a vote in each of the positions, they would have cast five votes each. Given there was also the option of selecting ‘no vote’ on the online ballot forms, it cannot be clearly determined exactly how many students voted.

Salient explained this to the Returning Officer via email, but no response was received by the time Salient went to print.

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