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The Daily Tar Heel

Make every vote count

Board of Elections must look into voting day glitches thoroughly to determine if results are valid

Voting errors that occurred on Election Day may have skewed election results for Student Congress. Because of this, the Board of Elections needs to take this matter seriously.

Some students were not placed in their correct congressional district and were unable to vote for their appropriate candidates.

And some students were allowed to vote for the senior class president even though they will not be seniors next year. (The election for senior class officers was not close.)

The Board of Elections dismissed the issue, saying that it was only a minor problem.

But the board needs to take responsibility for the errors and work rapidly with Information Technology Services to fix them.

Although only anecdotal evidence is available, that does not mean that the issue is a small one.

Many students might not have felt compelled to report a problem that occurred while voting. Some might not have been aware that a problem even existed in the first place.

One student reported that she did not vote at all because voting for a seat in another district could be an Honor Code violation.

In any case, the Board of Elections should not take this lightly. This voting malfunction very well could have a major impact on close elections.

While immediately invalidating these elections is not the solution, the Board of Elections should take a close look at races that came down to the wire.

It should also do as much research as possible to figure out how severe the problem was.

Pete Gillooly, the chairman for the Board of Elections, noted that students did have the option of filling out paper ballots.

But this is a poor excuse for not exploring the matter more thoroughly.

Filling out a paper ballot is a burdensome substitute for the convenience of filling out one electronically from the comfort of one’s home.

While the Board of Elections might not have been at fault for the error, simply passing the buck to ITS is not a valid excuse for inaction.

The Board of Elections needs to do what is necessary to ensure that these student elections were conducted fairly before the votes are officially certified Saturday.

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