Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Written by Adrian Morrow
The accusations started during the election campaign.
Ibrahim (Abe) Snobar and members of his Ryevolution slate cried foul when Chief Returning Officer Paris Cameron- Gardos gave them a ton of demerit points and fines for alleged infractions of the election rules, while handing out barely any to the rival Renew slate.
And last week, Snobar cried foul when Renew candidate Toby Whitfield was allowed to scrutineer the disputed election of Mal Sampa, one of Whitfield’s running mates.
Now there’s even more evidence that the election was slipshod. In an e-mail sent at the start of the campaign, Cameron- Gardos indicated that he would only impose fines when a candidate reached six demerit points. The next day, he gave Snobar a fine after the candidate got three demerits.
The CRO also instructed scrutineers not to campaign but several, including VP Finance Chris Drew, continued to do so.
And at least one poll clerk, not affiliated with either side in the election, has come forward to say election officials usually ruled in favour of Renew when a voter’s intention was unclear on the ballot. She also says that Renew scrutineers were aggressive when the ballots were being counted and one continually asked for recounts without any good reason.
The RSU’s executive voted to store the ballot boxes in the security office, but officials kept their location secret from everyone except RSU President and Renew supporter Nora Loreto.
It has finally become clear what a shit-show the elections were. But it can be fixed.
If the RSU could just stick to its own bylaws and appoint a CRO on time next year, they could find someone who won’t make the amateurish mistakes that damaged Cameron-Gardos’s credibility.
And they could amend the bylaws to provide a comprehensive list of fines and other penalties.
A few rules would go a long way towards ending the perceptions of bias and faulty rulings that permeated this election.
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