In the next few weeks, we’ll be back with more of the finest elections coverage a limited amount of Voter Funded Media money can buy, and some of the finest writers we can poach from other categories of hack. They’ll be introducing themselves over the next few days, starting tonight. But first, a card. For you, you special reader, you.
So, apparently the cool thing to do is make videos. We present, THE WORST ENDORSEMENT VIDEO OF THEM ALL. It is cheesy, fantastic, and pink, just like our little cute selves. Enjoy.
Special thanks to Ekat, Ben Cappellacci, Kathy Yan Li, Sean Heisler, and Luca Chitayat.
Oh, also in recent news, Taylor is single and free of any conflicts of interest.
Oh goodness, y’all.
In a grandiose lesson about knocking on wood, not counting chickens before eggs are hatched, ETCETERA, in tonight’s council meeting our illustrious EA Isabel informed the group that the heretofore scandal-free AMS elections were, in fact, scandalicious.
Ladies and gentlemen: it appears we got hacked.
For big fat details in all their glory, you can read the full text of the Elections Fraud Report. A quick summary follows, however, for you kids on the go.
- Mark Latham, Voter Funded Media guru, was analyzing data for his own purposes & discovered an apparent irregularity; he notified Isabel, who alerted the proper authorities.
- There are 731 “Suspect Votes” which were identified as being from the same IP address & voting in a four-hour bloc (a very large number of votes in a very short amount of time).
- An independent party, Forensic Data Recovery (FDR), has been hired to investigate this occurrence and see if their are other instances of voter fraud in the elections.
- These 731 votes affect ONLY the following races:
- the single passing referendum (tuition policy = LOWER PLZ)
- UBC Senate
- OH FUCK WHAT
It’s still uncertain how the suspicious activity happened, whether or not saved votes were overwritten or the fraudulent votes were independent, etc. etc. Is it possible that previous races were affected? oh yes. Is it possible that there is undetectable fraud happening in our elections? Well, in the words of Speaker Dave:
We said they were a hacker. We didn’t say they were a super-smart hacker.
Sleep soundly, voters. Oh, and the UBC Votes team (AUS, EUS, HKUS, & SUS) will not be using this online voting system, they will use WebVote. And you, O Computer Elite of the Cloning Powers, we have but one request for you:
Last week, Nearly-Former Elections Administrator Isabel Ferreras sent out a Media Advisory letting us all know the following:
The Alma Mater Society of UBC Vancouver (AMS), UBC’s student union, has discovered voting irregularities in its January 2010 elections and referenda. The AMS is taking this issue very seriously and is taking the necessary measures to deal with this matter. An independent auditor has been hired to conduct a thorough investigation. The AMS will be unable to release any further information until the investigation is complete. The AMS’ primary concern is in serving students. As such, the organization will operate business as usual.
Council tonight will address this issue, and presumably key parties will learn what, exactly, the fuck is up. Meantime, however, you and I and everyone else not privy to this info (which is, it seems a good 90% of hacks) are left wondering what exactly a voting irregularity is. Because, to me, it sounds like this:
(See, because the elections were supposed to have been passed, but apparently something wrong went into the system? and now things are all backed up? and we have to seek independent help for this blockag—oh, fuck it.)
YEAHHHH POOP JOKES YEEAAAAAHHHHHH
What’s this? A post without pictures?
Well, yes. VFM got an email today with some shiny new potential referenda, much less sexy than the old referenda. And sadly—not because we’re ladies, but because we’re normal forward-thinking people—legislative procedures make our heads hurt. We had to consult codemonkeys to bring you this highly scientific breakdown of What Might Be on Your Ballot:
What It Says:
1) “Do you support the amendment of the AMS Bylaws as presented, based on the recommendations of a consultant hired to review the operations of Student Court, for the purpose of revising the rules concerning Student Court? This revision would make Court decisions binding as soon as they are sent to Student Council, increase the amount of the fine the Court could levy on individuals, require that the Court include judges from faculties other than Law, and remove the Court’s power to interpret the AMS bylaws and its power to rewrite referendum questions.”
What It Means:
- Fees: Revises the upper limit of the fees student court can impose. Currently this is $10.00—not exactly a deterrent.
- Finality: In 2008, Crompton v. Elections Commissioner (ie: LougheedGate), Council overruled student court and overturned their verdict. These changes would mean that this could no longer happen.
- Power to interpret: if you and someone else have a disagreement on the interpretation of a piece of code, you would normally, a la Civics class, ask the judicial branch (aka Court). Questions like these would now be referred to the Legislative Procedures Committee, currently headed by our Chairman Naylor.
- Referenda questions: The court decides what a “clear question” is—important when presenting to an unengaged student body. Changes indicate that this would now be Naylor & the Legislators’ problem. (BTW: band name?)
- Composition: Some changes to the composition of the court would be prescribed—namely, that of its seven judges, at least two must be from faculties other than Law. (But how will they pad their resumes now??)
What It Says:
2) “Do you support the amendment of the AMS Bylaws as presented, based on the recommendations of a special AMS joint committee, for the purpose of revising the rules concerning Student Court? This revision would eliminate alternate judges, require that there be judges from at least two faculties hearing any case, and set out new rules for referendum questions.”
What It Means:
- See No. 5, above, with minor changes which don’t concern you, peon.
Of course, all this fun times & happiness may turn out to be for naught, depending on whose interpretation of elections bylaws wins. (See, we told you this wasn’t sexy.) In order to put these beauties on the ballot, they need to be motioned up by Council. Problem is, the deadline for referenda is the 15th—five whole days before Council next meets. And since elections code, as we’ve learned, is writ in steel, well.
But hey, at least you learned something about your student society today! Namely, that there’s a very real reason we pay people to have a vested interest in this stuff.
(With files from our Very Secret Expert, who can totally apply to us to have his name on this post.)