ASFA General Elections Invalidated

Appointments Become Interim, All Questions Fail

  • The decision came after some member associations voiced complaints about how the elections were handled. Photo by Tristan D’Amours

The Arts and Science Federation of Associations’ general elections were invalidated at a special council meeting Thursday evening.

All who were elected during the March 21 to March 24 elections will remain in their positions as interim appointments until the association’s by-elections in November. They will then have to be re-elected.

The decision came after some member associations voiced complaints about how the elections were handled. Chris Stephens, the president of the Concordia Classics Student Association, said he had filed a contestation on March 23, the day that polling was initially supposed to end.

He explained that the Chief Electoral Officer, Samuel Miriello, broke eight bylaws, including not ensuring the security of the ballots and extending polling period illegally. He also said that at the start of the polling period, not every candidate had a ballot.

The Link had previously reported that some of ASFA’s members were confused as to why polling was extended for a day. At the time, Christina Massaro, the current VP of Finance said that this wasn’t the first time an election failed to meet quorum, and that polling wasn’t extended in those cases. And yet this time, it was.

When asked why following the election, ASFA President-elect Julia Sutera Sardo said that this was because of a technical failure which resulted in double counting certain votes. “That’s why there were 13 votes lacking,” she said.

Sutera Sardo explained that recommendations based off Stephens’ complaint were put together by their Judicial Committee, and were read during closed session. The council accepted the recommendations, but she specified that it does not mean they have to implement all of them. It was then that council moved to invalidate the election results.

As a result, the three referendum questions that passed during the election are also invalidated, and will have to be asked again, said Sutera Sardo. The questions included bylaw changes, and reducing quorum for elections from 2.5 per cent of all undergraduate students in the Arts and Science faculty to 450 students. Quorum is the number of votes needed for an election to be considered valid.

A question on non-hierarchical title changes had also passed, which, if implemented, would see VPs becoming coordinators, similar to the Concordia Student Union.

A motion was also brought forward to exclude the president, Sutera Sardo, from taking an interim appointment, but it failed during a closed session secret ballot vote.

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