Texas A&M University
To: Texas A&M University Student Body
From: Allison Krenzien, Election Commissioner
At a point during voting on Thursday, February 20 during the Spring 2014 Student Body Elections there was a glitch in the computer system that caused a problem in the Off-campus Senator ballot. The name of a candidate (Cody Alejandro) was removed from it. This error was brought to the attention of the Election Commission via email Friday night by the candidate effected.
Over the weekend, the Commission in conjunction with Student Activities staff attempted to determine the cause of the omission as well as what steps should be taken to rectify it.
While determining the best course of action, voting records were analyzed from shortly after the glitch occurred. When comparing this ranking to the final results, all the winners for Off-campus Senate seats were the same. At this point, the candidate in question was in 38th place. He received no write-in votes from the time the glitch occurred until the end of voting and no issues were reported with the ballot during that time. Moving forward, the Election Commission and Student Activities staff will work to assess how to best utilize voting technology and account for the pitfalls that may be encountered.
With this information, the Election Commission felt that given the position of the candidate at the time the computer error occurred (38th) and that no write-in votes were received, it was statistically improbable that the standings of the Off-campus Senate winners would have changed and therefore decided against taking any action.
The decision on how to proceed after this error occurred was solely my decision as the Election Commissioner and was done in an attempt at fairness to the majority of the Off-campus Senate candidates. I felt that any action on the part of the Election Commission would materially damage more candidates overall.
However, I do apologize to the student body if this action in any way limited their opportunity to freely vote for the candidates of their choice. That was in no way my intention. Nor was it my intention to insult or derogate any candidate or voters by the statistical analysis of the voting process. I apologize if it was perceived this way. The analysis of the statistical likelihood of a change to the top 31 vote- getters in this race was intended to lend an objective lens when determining how to best address this issue. However, I can see that this may have been hurtful to the candidate involved and potentially denied voters the opportunity to vote with complete knowledge. For this, I am sorry.