Despite record turnout, most votes revealed to be “joke” ballots

After the results of the 2017 Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) election were released on Feb. 11, next year’s executive appeared to be set in stone—until a recount took place.

To the surprise of only a handful of people, the SFUO later realized that they had made a big oversight—no one had been elected at all.

“There were some mistakes early in the vote counting process,” said candidate Crancesco Faruso. “Elections officials were very tired. In fact, I think they were counting votes in their sleep.”

After the 53rd recount, it dawned on the group that while many ballots had been submitted, none of them had any names marked down. One ballot did have the words “Bernie for prez!” scrawled on it, but it was marked as spoiled.

“Folks did come out and vote,” said Faruso. “But I guess we should have been more clear on how to use the ballots.”

After the recount, it turned out that none of the would-be voters actually marked down a candidate.

Apparently, some students simply wrote a number to guess how many jelly beans one of the elections officers had in in a bag on their desk.

“Did I win the jelly bean election?” asked Sally Simpson, a first-year accounting student.

Others simply seized on an opportunity to further their own prospects.

“I just went to steal a pencil for my exam,” said Steve James, a third-year mathematics student. “Thanks, SFUO!”

“To be honest, I just used the voting screen so no one would see me taking selfies,” said Scott Jones, a second-year communications student. “I feel judged, okay?”

The executive candidates were shocked that nobody got any votes, and some took the news pretty hard.

“I’m not sure what I’ll do instead of running the SFUO,” said candidate Wadi Hess, his eyes welling up with tears. “I mean, where else will I be in control of throwing big parties for students and a bike coop at the same time?”

Another candidate, Alex Gaga, was similarly disheartened.

“I was so looking forward to being heckled by the student body over fireworks and Snapchat stories,” he said wistfully. “Ah, what could have been.”

Some students, however, didn’t seem phased by the non-existent election results.

“Wait, people were running the SFUO before?” asked Sheila Ross. “Who knew!”

It’s not clear what will happen to student services next year without any elected executives. Some speculate that the SFUO will operate as a shell of its former self, not funding any clubs or activities and reducing the services it provides.

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