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UISG vote hits glitch, is delayed

BY MICHELE DANNO | APRIL 14, 2009 7:40 AM

While UI Student Government hopefuls thought Monday was their last full day of campaigning, they found out last night they still have another week.

And many of them are not happy about it.

UISG voting opened at midnight on Sunday and was set to continue through 5 p.m. today. But because of a technical glitch with the online service, Votenet, most voters were unable to cast ballots on ISIS.

“I tried voting this morning, and the page wouldn’t load, so I just thought a lot of people were trying to vote at that time,” UI freshman Lauren Rachke said. “Then I kept checking back during the day, and it still wasn’t working.”

To deal with the issue, the Student Elections Board met late Monday night to decide the fate of the rest of the election. Brianna Steitzer, a UI sophomore and member of the board, said the voting period has been moved to April 20 and 21.

For those who already voted, their ballots will be voided, and they’ll have to cast them again.

“All voters will have to revote on ISIS,” Steitzer said. “Campaigning will go on as usual, it will just be pushed back one week.”

Officials plan on using the same system, Votenet, she said. They will know Wednesday if the service is functioning again. If it isn’t, Steitzer said, the election board may have to find a new online system or resort to a paper system.

UISG has used Votenet in past elections, and the program costs about $5,000 per year to maintain, Steitzer said. Election-board officials are in contact with the company and are looking into getting reimbursed or not having to pay for the second election, she said.

Leaders from Go Party, L Party, and Your Party all expressed concern over how this will affect voting.

Go Party vice-presidential candidate JD Moran said he thinks the occurrence is “extremely unfortunate.”

“I think there is going to be a lot of negativity to having to revote or having to deal with us for another week,” he said. “And it sucks that we budgeted our $3,000 of campaign money for two weeks instead of three.”

But Your Party presidential hopeful Emily Grieves said her group is ready to continue talking with students for another week.

“My campaign was ready to start work as soon as we got into office, and we’re ready to work for students for all of next year,” she said. “We’re not feeling deterred. This isn’t really changing anything for us because we wanted to continue talking to students and student groups.”

L Party presidential nominee Ryan Kopf also said his group still has more campaigning to do.

“We still have shirts and buttons to pass out, so I’m a little happy that I’ll get to use those up,” Kopf said. “We probably don’t have the energy to be on the Pentacrest every day like we were last week, but I guess that’s what we have to face by postponing the election.”

The candidates said it’s unfortunate students were told they could vote and then were unable to, and they are worried some votes might be lost. But some students are still willing to support their parties even if elections are a week later.

UI freshman Chelsea Chase said she’ll definitely still vote next week because she wants her voice to be heard.

“People who cared enough to vote in the first place will still vote,” she said.


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