BREAKING NEWS:Voters must use paper ballots

Posted: Wednesday, Feb. 25, 12:20 p.m.–Students voting in Funger Hall, Ross Hall and the Mount Vernon Campus must use paper ballots until further notice.

The three polling sites were scheduled to have computer voting access, said John Plack, chair of the Joint Election Committee, which is in charge of the Student Association, Marvin Center Governing Board and Program Board Elections.

Last night, GW officials notified the JEC that Funger and Ross Halls and the Mount Vernon Campus’ “jacks couldn’t be activated in time,” and paper ballots would need to be used, Plack said. He said the JEC had no prior knowledge that the polling sites would be unable to get computer access.

Ashley Osgerby, manager of Academic Client Services, said she did not receive a request from students to use labs on the Mount Vernon Campus for computer voting. She said the Mount Vernon labs are “heavily booked with classes … usually back-to-back,” and thus voters could not use the labs.

She said the Center for Academic Technologies does not control Ross Hall labs, and she believes the only usable lab in Funger Hall is run by the statistics department.

She said the Marvin Center computer lab is solely used because of security measures concerning IP addresses.

Plack said the JEC will have to do more work since more students will use paper ballots now.

“(Losing three computer voting sites) will make counting ballots (take) a lot longer,” Plack said.

Each time a student uses a paper ballot, the polling station watcher must call the JEC office. A person in the JEC office then verifies the student’s name and student ID number, and records the ballot and ballot number.

Marvin Center computers also went down this morning, and were back up by about 9:30 or 10 a.m., Plack said.

Plack said the JEC has about 20,000 to 40,000 paper ballots that students will use on both campuses.

Students voting by paper ballot can look at GWeb for candidate biographies, because only the voting system on the computers are not working.

Students can vote via computer in the Marvin Center ground floor computer lab and Thurston Hall. Paper ballots are also available in the Law School and Monroe Hall, according to the JEC.

Plack said the JEC had another problem with elections this morning. Ballots for the Executive Vice President and student fee referendum were missing when JEC officers picked up ballots at the Pulse last night. He said the JEC placed a “rush order” at Kinko’s last night, and the mistake appeared to be the Pulse’s fault.

Before the polling stations opened this morning at 9 a.m., Undergraduate Senator At-Large ballots and some Law School ballots were missing.

“There are thirty-something ballots,” Plack said. “So it’s easy for one to go missing.”

He said the problem was rectified by about 9:30 a.m., and the “handful” of students who came to the stations before 9:30 were told to go to other stations.

Students can vote for SA, MCGB and PB officers Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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