March 5, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 81  

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Non-candidate got votes

By Dan Perry
Gazette Staff

An elections committee error landed a disqualified Arts Council candidate 86 votes in last month’s University Students’ Council election.

“Kyle Malashewski was disqualified for failure to attend the all-candidates meeting. Due to an oversight, however, his name was not removed from the ballot. The USC regrets this error, but does not feel the overall integrity of the election was compromised,” said USC Chief Returning Officer James Guttman.

In response to the disqualified candidate’s letter in Wednesday’s Gazette, Arts Council President Don Brodhagen raised the issue at that night’s USC meeting.

Brodhagen said his first concern came when he could not find Malashewski’s biography on the elections website.

“I contacted members of the [elections] committee, they said they’d look into it — but I never heard anything back. [Malashewski] told me he was disqualified, so I let it drop,” Brodhagen said.

Brodhagen pointed to the possible consequences of the error. “Add these 86 votes to the last place candidate [Henna Singh, who finished with 102 votes] and she’d be in second [behind leader Julia Rady, who had 209 votes].”

The Arts election was close; three votes separated second and third place, as well as third and fourth place, 14 votes separated fourth and fifth place and sixth place, was only one vote behind in the race for the three councillor positions.

“Especially after the dental plan [referendum] last year, we’ve really got to smarten up with the elections,” Brodhagen said, calling for more “credible” elections.

Guttman explained the mistake: “It was an oversight not removing him when he was disqualified,” he said, explaining that the ballots were made before Malashewski was disqualified.

Malashewski laughed off any questions of his impact on the elections. “I thought it would’ve been funny if I won, then I could rub it in their faces.

“I still can’t explain the 86 votes,” he added.



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