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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


ASUA primary results to be delayed; due to glitch in grad and professional student voting

An apparent glitch in the Associated Students of the University of Arizona voting system, which has blocked graduate and professional students from casting their votes, has caused ASUA to push back the deadline for graduate and professional students for the ASUA primary elections until 5 p.m. tomorrow.

ASUA election commissioner, Diego Alvarez, said that as a solution to the issue, ASUA has builtan alternate voting system for graduate and professional students. The alternate system can be found linked just below the original voting link on the ASUA home page.

It is important to note that this voting extension only applies to graduate and professional students. For undergraduates wishing to cast their vote in today’s primary, the deadline is still tonight at 8 p.m.

Alvarez said that the reason for the extension is that even though ASUA had built the new voting system by late yesterday afternoon, the final kinks of the system weren’t worked out until roughly 8 a.m. this morning. Meaning that graduate and professional students would have gotten about half of the time to vote as undergraduates.

The new system built by ASUA is a simple Google Doc accessible by anyone with a valid CatMail email address — the key word being anyone.

Beneath the link, the website clearly states that, “Only current graduate and professional students can vote,” utilizing the link. But when tested, simply anyone with a current email address can submit a ballot.

However, Alvarez assures voters that ballots will be vetted by ASUA to ensure that votes cast will be those and only those of graduate and professional students. Any others will be thrown out.

The ballots record the voter’s UA NetID when the ballot is submitted. Alvarez said that ASUA will use the NetIDs and corresponding student IDs to ensure that a voter is indeed a graduate or professional student, and that at least in the case of college-specific senators, that a voter is only choosing senators from his or her college.

“There’s 100 percent confidence [in the system]; there’s no way to make mistakes there,” Alvarez said about the impromptu solution.

Hannah White, candidate for the presidential seat, is concerned about the haste of the new ballot and is worried that graduate and professional students may feel under-represented.

“I think it looks a little unprofessional, and a lot of grad students are already even questioning whether or not their votes are actually going to count … It’s almost like they were disregarded in a way,” White said.

She went on to add that while the new system can be accessed by anyone on campus, she isn’t particularly worried about the possibility of voter fraud. But that she is more concerned with the possibility that not every students’ voice may be heard.

“Everyone should have a say in what goes on in this campus — whether you’re undergrad or grad — and I think that it is easy to forget that grad students are a part of this campus as well, and I know a lot of them were extremely upset that they weren’t able to vote yesterday,” White said.

Follow Sam Gross on Twitter.

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