JCR elections re-poll at New

first_imgNew College has become mired in controversy following allegations of fraud and vote-rigging in the recent JCR presidential elections. It has been alleged that forged signatures and misuse of proxy votes have affected the election’s outcome. The results of the elections, held on Monday, have been discarded and re-polling is to occur today. This follows the discovery that proxy votes had been submitted after the 9am deadline, with some votes alleged to be fraudulent with intention of influencing the winner of the election. New College JCR constitution dictates that proxy votes, balloted by students voting on behalf of others, are to be submitted in writing before 9am on the day of the election. Returning officer David Snower has admitted in a JCR email that he failed to implement the constitution. He said, “As returning officer I take full responsibility for not clarifying the rules concerning proxy votes to the people on the ballot box.” The results were announced at 10.30pm on Monday night with Matthew Ranger emerging as the President-Elect, with 92 votes, and Stephen McGlynn coming a close second with 88 votes. However, allegations of fraudulent voting shortly followed these results. One member of the New College JCR, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “It seems the fraudsters cast a significant amount of proxy votes on behalf of people who didn’t intend to vote. This occurred on the actual day of the election, which is not allowed under our constitution… Soon after the results were announced in the bar on Monday, people started claiming to have rigged the election.” In an email to the JCR, Snower explained the decision to re-poll: “As no voting slips are marked, it was impossible to ascertain which of these invalid votes went to which candidates. Therefore the only way to ensure that the result is fair is to have a re-poll.” In the same email Snower claimed that the votes were purely from “people on their year abroad and others who couldn’t attend the ballot box.” The current New College JCR President, Ben Karlin, said, “The situation is unfortunate for all concerned, but given the circumstances the fairest possible outcome has been reached and I wish the candidates the best of luck on Friday.” The JCR email encourages “everyone to vote in exactly the same manner in which they voted on Monday.” Photo: Richard Lowkeslast_img


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