It is with regret that we need to announce the recent election for our Welfare and Campaigns Officer has been declared null and void by the external Returning Officer. In the interests of transparency, the Adjudication Panel have agreed to release the following statement.
One of the candidates informed the SU that they would like to withdraw from the election on Monday 22nd February. The SU acknowledged that request the following day, but the candidate was not withdrawn on the system. When votes were counted after 7pm on Friday 26th, it emerged that the withdrawn candidate had received the most votes. In accordance with the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system, their votes were re-distributed according to any voting preferences expressed.
For your information, a copy of the voting results can be downloaded from the SU website here.
Following the announcement of the election results, the SU received two challenges to the outcome. Both concerned the fact that students were able to vote for this candidate throughout the week, despite the fact they had announced their withdrawal on the Monday.
The Returning Officer and Adjudication Panel have reviewed the challenges, and decided that the integrity of the voting outcome has been compromised. They have therefore made the decision to declare the Welfare and Campaigns Officer election null and void, in accordance with Bye-Law 619. This means the vacancy will be filled by re-election at the earliest opportunity, in accordance with Bye-Law 2. The Welfare and Campaigns Officer candidates can challenge the Returning Officer’s decision if they would like to do so.
The Returning Officer, Adjudication Panel and SU would like to apologise for the error which allowed this situation to occur. We are very aware that elections are challenging times for candidates, and we are sorry that this situation may cause additional stress. We are already in the process of making changes to ensure this incident is not repeated in any future elections.