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  1. Dear Forum Members, First let me say how happy I am to be here. I am on the Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC) for a university council of faculty, I would like to describe a sequence of events with you. My organization has Bylaws, but the Bylaws seem to be silent on some of the circumstances that came to light. The situation is this: an election of committee officers for this council was scheduled to take place and, because of Covid-19, face-to-face elections were unable to occur. Our Bylaws offer two methods for receiving and returning ballots: paper ballots that are handed out at the meeting (this are anonymous) and email ballots that can be returned in advance of the meeting (these are absentee ballots and contain identifying information). This year, the Chair wrote up a proposal based on what was used years before: ie. that all ballots will be printed out, names blacked out, and the anonymous emails sent to two counters, who would tally up the ballot results independently. The Chair decided to not be involved with handling or counting the ballots as he was a candidate for one of the vacancies in listed on the ballot. Before the ballots were emailed out, the administrator deleted one eligible voter from the email list of those who would receive a vote. The Chair of the NEC fixed that problem. Seemed simple enough. 58 representatives received their ballot, 47 ballots were returned, 44 within the defined window for voting, 3 after this window closed (within 22 hours after the balloting ended). It then became known (this is not chronologically)....Instead of removing the names, the administrator left the names revealed. Instead of compiling the ballots into one pdf to be forwarded, the administrator sent the ballots individually in 40+ emails. One voter did not receive his ballot, as it was sent to the wrong email address. He phoned in his vote, although there is no provision for this. Then.... One voter's "ballot" was originally counted as null by Teller A because an email with a question, and not the actual ballot, had been sent along to be counted by the administrator. This did not seem to be a problem for Teller B (who said he had it). When the actual ballot was finally located by the administrator, it was sent to bothTeller A and Teller B to be counted. Three late ballots were sent to Teller B by the administrator, but Teller A still did not have them even 48 hrs after they were originally received by the Administrator. The Chair of the NEC, upon finding out about these problems from Teller A, finally emails the administrator about the missing ballots. Meanwhile, the Chair of the NEC also email Teller B (who is also the Chairman of this entire university council) and brought to his attention that Teller A has not received the late ballots. Then Teller B emails the Chair of the NEC to tell him that he (Teller B) took care of this by sending the late ballots in his possession directly to Teller A. The most important election on this ballot came down to a one-vote difference, and it was the third late vote that broke the tie. The balloting was closed and the results were compared. The Chair of the NEC, who has been increasingly concerned about everything listed above, comes into possession of the election results which were never anonymized in the first place, and attempts to sign off on the accuracy of the tabulation by looking to see how his own ballot choices are registered. Teller B reacts to this by saying that the Chair of the NEC has breached confidentiality by looking at the spreadsheet after the balloting was over, and the results determined. (I'm sorry this is so long) How many problems do you see? Where did this go off the rails?? Thanks for your replies in advance. M
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