OUSC elections run into minor snags

The OUSC elections were off to a rough start this year. Online polls were slated to open Monday at midnight, but anyone who tried to access the website was met with an error. 

Jean Szura, assistant director of student activities and leadership development, said redirects were down but IT was able to fix that problem Monday morning. 

Once the site was up and running, other errors became apparent. In addition to typos, the Cameron Schea/Mike Diedrich ticket was listed incorrectly and there wasn’t a yes/no option for the proposal question about club sports. 

Bill Hamilton, elections commission chair, said 41 votes were cast before those errors were addressed. He said their candidate votes would still be valid, but if they answered the proposal question, it couldn’t be counted. 

Because a valid OU e-mail address is required for voting, Hamilton said the administration could contact those students for a revote, but he and Szura said it’s unlikely that would be necessary. 

“From what I hear there’s been a lot of support for the proposal so I doubt that would come into play,” Szura said. 

Candidates are allowed to campaign in designated areas. Monday and Tuesday, candidates running for executive positions passed out fliers at campaign tables in the Oakland Center hallway. They also had laptops setup and encouraged students to vote. 

Hamilton said those tables are not sanctioned by the elections commission. 

The lone official polling station is in Room 128 in the OC. 

“This is the polling station and it is thriving as you can see,” Hamilton said jokingly. 

At Monday’s OUSC meeting, a student complained that she was “harassed” while voting in the food court. 

She said people watched and made comments as she voted. 

Voting at campaign tables is allowed because the process is done online. 

“Any vote from any computer counts,” Szura said. 

Hamilton said that, to his knowledge, no campaigning rules had been broken and that no grievances have been filed. To file a grievance, students need to cite a specific policy and need to have a witness, Hamilton said. 

“I wouldn’t have thought it would’ve gotten this intense,” Hamilton said, adding that he’s glad that it has because it shows how “passionate” the candidates are. “Sometimes competition gets crazy.” 

Szura said overall the elections have gone smoothly and hopes the rough start doesn’t deter people from voting. 

“As OUSC adviser I want to see people vote,” Szura said. 

She said she’s also happy to listen to complaints anyone has about the elections process. 

“We’re always welcoming feedback on what should be changed,” Szura said. 

Voting will continue online only at www.oakland.edu/voteou. Polls close Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.