Election update: day two

By Jamie Ross-The Aquinian

Chief Returning Officer Sean Thompson says he hasn’t ruled out fining candidates who left their Facebook groups online after campaigning for the general elections closed.

But he won’t disqualify the candidates who broke St. Thomas University Students’ Union  bylaws.

“But I have a feeling there’ll be an appeal about that,” said Thompson.

He received notice Tuesday night that some candidates still had Facebook campaign groups online because of technical difficulties.

They weren’t able to access the proper page in order to close the groups, he said.

By 2 p.m. Thursday,  two candidates,  Lydia MacDonell and Mary-Dan Johnston,  still had campaign  Facebook pages.

Johnston’s platform information still appeared on her group’s front page and in the discussion section.

MacDonell, who is running uncontested, had  a brief description of her campaign on her page.

Both groups contained only a few members.

Thompson said he’ll know by the end of the week if he’s going to issue fines.

Union bylaws state candidates can be fined up the $50 for campaigning after the designated time period, which ended  Feb 23.

The CRO also has the authority to disqualify candidates.

Otherwise, there have been a few ballot issues that have needed fixing.

Johnston’s surname was incorrectly spelled “Johnson” on ballots yesterday.

Thompson said Johnston didn’t have a problem with the error appearing on ballots as long as it was fixed for the second day of voting, which it was by noon.

And there were no referendum ballots printed for the first day of voting, forcing organizers to use temporary ballots that were basically “a white piece of paper that we asked people to sign ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on,” said Thompson.

That problem was also fixed by this morning.

He isn’t exactly sure of turnout numbers for day one, but reports from the Rigby Hall polling station suggested around 100 people voted there yesterday, he said.

That’s about one-third of the total turnout from the fall general elections.

Voting closes today at 6 p.m. and Thompson expects to have the ballots counted by 9 p.m., at which time he’ll announce the winners at the Cellar Pub in the Students’ Union Building.

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