Elections

1972: Elections nearly cancelled
Elections were close to being cancelled after an appeal was filed relating to a number of concerns, including over-postering on the behalf of the winning president and VP: university affairs, missing ballots, the ballot box not being in public view during voting at the beginning of polling and that candidates were not allowed to be interviewed on Radio Lutheran.

Most notably, there were significant concerns about the chief electoral officer, specifically relating to his impartiality, concerns that he didn’t follow election procedures and that he overrode a decision to disqualify the candidates who were found to be over-postering.

Due to the biases of many of the Students’ Administrative Council’s (SAC) members, the decision was placed in the hands of the Dean’s Advisory Council (DAC) who decided that the appeal following the election did not qualify as sufficient reasoning to cancel the election.

1992: Policy and endorsements brought under scrutiny
A ruling by the Elections Council permitted a part-time student to run for president, which was against the students’ union bylaws at the time. After an appeal was filed, the DAC agreed to let the candidate stay in the running, yet he was unsuccessful as the presidential candidate.

More appeals followed after the elected candidate was announced, relating to an editorial published in The Cord Weekly, which endorsed the winning candidate.

1995: Results delayed
Elections were postponed two weeks as a result of a significant delay in regards to the mail-out ballots for co-op students.

The open forum this year also received much criticism as candidates were attacked on personal issues from their pasts, including the conduct of one presidential candidate who was questioned about spending a night in jail with the president of Ryerson’s Students’ Union while attending a conference in Halifax and streaking at another one.

1998: Two candidates disqualified
Two candidates, one running for president and the other for VP: university affairs, were disqualified from the election for receiving more than the maximum number of three fines. Though both candidates appealed the disqualification to the DAC, they were removed from the ballot prior to the election.

The concerns regarding presidential candidate Mike Keriakos were mainly due to his association with VP: UA candidate Renée Pelletier. Pelletier was thought to possibly be violating policy after addressing students at a communication studies information night and being endorsed by her program director.

2003: Information leaked
Confidential voting information was left on the hard drive on a PRISM laptop, which included spreadsheets with a breakdown of votes by faculty and polling station and information on spoiled ballots.

2008: Election left in disarray
The 2008 WLUSU election period was the most contentious and publicized, lasting just over three weeks. After presidential candidate Brian Punambolam was disqualified on election day for accumulating too many campaign-related fines, the elections process was left in shambles.

Once the decision was made by the Appellate Committee to overturn his appeal, the ballots were counted, though no votes for Punambolam were used. As there was no policy in place regarding what to do in case of a disqualification, the board of directors held an emergency meeting and decided to hold a run-off election between the two remaining candidates. Colin Le Fevre emerged victorious with only 11.01 per cent of students voting in the second election; this was the lowest turnout in over a decade.

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