[Breaking News] ASUAF elections discards 14 fraudulent votes

[Breaking News] ASUAF elections discards 14 fraudulent votes
April 22, 2013 Teri Anderson
asuaf
[Updated April 23, 6:30pm]
In the last half hour of ASUAF elections, at least 14 fraudulent ballots were cast. The ballots had student IDs and birthdays but were not cast by the students themselves.
ASUAF elections board chair Bryant Hopkins said in an email that he first found out there was something wrong this morning.

“ASUAF received an email from a student who had received confirmation for participating in our Spring Elections last week, but the student never voted. We contacted the website that hosted the election and they had also received five more complaints from students receiving the same email when they did not vote,”

Executive officer of ASUAF, Anne Williamson looked through all the votes and found 20 nearly identical ballots all cast within the last half hour of polling. Williamson contacted all 20 students and 14 confirmed that they had not voted and asked ASUAF to throw out their votes.
“We threw out the 14 confirmed fraudulent ballots. It only affected the senate race in the end,” said ASUAF president Mari Freitag.
Once the results have been made official the two Senate write-in winners will be Brix Hahn and Sarah Walker.

Sophia Grzeskowiak-Amezquita’s senate position was the only election result changed by discarding the fraudulent ballots. Grzeskowiak-Amezquita lost her senate seat because she lost 12 votes from the 14 that were thrown out. In 12 of the ballots thrown out, her name appeared, correctly spelled, as a write-in for the senate seat.

Grzeskowiak-Amezquita said in an email, “I was happy to have been considered for a senate position but would have declined due to my presidential responsibilities to the society of automotive engineers.”

About 450 students voted in the elections. Results will become official this Sunday when they are read in the Senate meeting.

“If anyone has any information [about who was involved in the voter fraud] that would be helpful,” said Freitag.

ASUAF uses the site VoteNet for their online elections. VoteNet followed the IP addresses and found three different IP addresses that had cast fraudulent ballots.

Extreme Alaska will add more to this story as information becomes available.

Read more on this story in the Sun Star.

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