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Computer difficulties delay SMC elections

Mandi Stirone | Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Student Class Elections at Saint Mary’s have been postponed for the second time as many days because of administrative problems with the computer system students use to vote, Board of Governance members said.

Students were supposed to vote Monday using Prism – the Saint Mary’s Internet program used for various academic processes as well as Student Election voting. Because of recurring problems, voting was pushed back to yesterday and then rescheduled again for today. Students received an e-mail Tuesday from the Board of Governance informing them of the voting difficulties and the procedures that needs to be followed.

“Elections for class boards have been postponed until [tonight] due to problems with Prism. The survey on Prism has been reset. Voting will start at 12:00 p.m. [tonight] and will last until 11:59 p.m. [Thursday.] If you have already voted, you must vote again,” the e-mail said.

Elections Commissioner Christin Molnar first noticed problems Friday when she realized that the online survey would not be ready in time for the Prism voting to begin Monday. Because of that error, the voting was pushed back to Tuesday, she said.

The candidates were notified and everything was set up for the delayed election, but the problems continued once voting began. Molnar said she received several phone calls from concerned students who were able to log onto Prism, but were unable to find the survey to vote.

She said that due to the amount of students facing this problem, the elections were stopped and moved to today. Those in charge said the root of the problem is still unclear.

Though many students were not too bothered by all the confusion, many candidates are beginning to get impatient.

“I’ve been very frustrated with the delays and the way it has been handled administratively,” said Jennie Antonelli, one of the junior presidential candidates.

Many of the candidates feel that they are putting a lot of effort into something that is resulting in more and more setbacks.

“Basically it’s just been a real frustration we just wasted so much time preparing for the ‘next election’ that’s happening, we put in a lot of time and effort into going door to door and trying to get everyone to vote,” said sophomore Taryn Pabst, Antonelli’s running mate. “It’s just frustrating because we’re not sure if it’s even going to happen tomorrow.”

Even those who are running unopposed are bothered by the setbacks and sympathize with the upcoming juniors’ frustrations.

“It’s kind of inconvenient for everybody to vote,” said freshman presidential candidate Emily Young, who is running unopposed.

Elections are scheduled to be on Prism all day today and will end tonight at midnight.