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TUU Elections: Ballot Bungle

Photo: Michelle Moran

Some votes cast in the Tasmanian University Union (TUU) elections will be deemed invalid following a printing error as the campaign heats up after the conclusion of day two of voting.

An error with the ballot papers has forced the Tasmanian Electoral Commission, who are conducting the elections, to manually correct the mistake on each ballot.

On the ballot paper, voters had the option to vote for the Campus President position for each location – South, North and Cradle Coast. However, as outlined in the Constitution of the TUU, “each enrolled student of the University is eligible to one vote for each vacant position in their region”.

A number of votes were received from each campus before the error was crossed out with pen.

Jocelyn Chapman, the TUU Returning Officer, said that it was unfortunate that the error occurred but it was “identified very quickly and resolved.”

“Votes cast for regional positions that are invalid will not be counted at the scrutiny,” she said.

Current TUU President, Clark Cooley said it was “extremely disappointing” to see an error was made on the ballot paper.

“We need to ensure that the voting process is one that is transparent and fair for everyone,” he said.

The TUU Constitution also details that “ballot papers for an election are to be prepared in a form approved by the returning officer.”

Just one more day of voting remains and candidates and their supporters have plastered UTas campuses with posters and are positioned in key locations with flyers.

President candidate, Jess Robinson spent yesterday in the north, handing out ‘how to vote’ cards to students at the Newnham and Inveresk campuses. 

“It is through strong collaboration and communication that the best results can occur. With these skills I have been able to initiate a number of projects, and am committed to growing these, and starting up more if elected as President,” she said.

“If elected, the #JessWeCan team will bring a diverse range of skills and experience to the table.”

Campaigning at Sandy Bay yesterday, Saffire Grant, who is also running for the position of President, stated she is thankful for the support she has received during the campaign.

“It has been a lot of fun,” she said.

“If elected, I want to consult with students, to find out what they want and what they need and look at what I can do as President to help make that happen.”

Sharifah Syed Rohan was also out campaigning at the Sandy Bay campus yesterday. An approval ballot will decide if she will be elected as the Campus President for the southern region.

“I think it is really important for students to be represented fairly, and I can deliver that based on how I have an apolitical approach to the TUU,” she said.

“It is really important for students to be mobilised to be involved in the Union. Get informed, have your say.”

Today is the final day that you can have your say about who represents you in 2018. Polling stations at the Sandy Bay, Newnham and Cradle Coast campuses are open from 10am and close at 5pm. A polling centre will also be open between 1pm and 4pm at the School of Creative Arts in Hunter Street.

Stay up to date with live coverage from Togatus of the results throughout Thursday. Check out #TUUelections and share your opinion.


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