On LSESU’s election controversy
This is an editorial piece. This isn’t billed as news. Apparently, that’s enough to avoid a libel suit.
We stand for investigative journalism and we appreciate that one often has to work on limited information, but this is disgraceful. Running such an incendiary story on the back of such flimsy evidence is simply irresponsible. These elections dictate the course of four people’s lives for the next year, and unwarranted stress should not be placed upon their shoulders due to what seems to a case of sore-loser syndrome given the ordeal that is the campaign season anyway.
The case seems to hinge on this document: a screenshot of a Google Doc of an Excel spreadsheet. Claiming that the discrepancy here of 28 votes between the demographic data and the actual votes recorded is indicative of vote fraud is nothing short of opportunistic hacks attempting to get a story where there is none. Had the proper research been done, a discrepancy of 33 votes between the demographic data and the actual voter turnout would have been discovered in the 2011 Lent Term elections, with this being 33 votes extra: these facts were found from publicly available data from the Students’ Union. This is the same complaint. The inconsistency in the approach to this election over others certainly points to a political bias on the part of the London Student and those involved with the complaints made the Students’ Union: the candidates of the ‘Left’ won last year and not this year.
Now, the discrepancy between demographic data and turnout is better explained by incomplete or incorrect demographic data logged in the School’s databases. People move around during the year: they may be recorded in two halls of residence; they may not release this information to the School; their classification as staff of the School may remove the demographic data from access by the Students’ Union.
We are not willing to discount the possibility of electoral irregularities at this point, but the evidence given so far is beyond insufficient to make the sorts of claims that are being made by the London Student.