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Election hopefuls and students frustrated as election results go unannounced

This article was originally published on Feb.18, 2011.

Students called it quits around three in the morning on Feb.18 when they were told that the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) election results would be pushed back another few hours. Candidates arrived at undergraduate bar 1848 around 11 p.m to have a round of beers with their campaign volunteers and friends. However, due to the fact that the results, which were supposed to be announced around midnight, were continuously postponed, candidates eventually decided to head home for the night.

Some candidates were frustrated, but understood why the process took so long.

“I just want it to be finished. U just want it to be over. I wish the results were coming right now. I feel like [tonight’s process] was a little bit slow, but I guess that means that there [are] some ballots to contest,” explained Logan Ouellette, candidate for vp communications. 

“We’re all getting more anxious and anxious as the minutes go by, We just want our results [so] we can go home and sleep,” said Terry Morin, candidate for vp social. 

With a voting turnout estimate of just over 10 per cent, Jason Benovoy, CEO of the SFUO elections office, explained that each contested position—that of the executive, and arts and social sciences Board of Administration seats—has to be counted by hand. 

“It’s paper ballots, it takes a long time because we triple count the ballots to make sure everything is as accurate as possible. It is what it is—there are thousands of voting ballots,” he explained.

Amalia Savva, presidential candidate for the SFUO elections, agreed that all students could do was be patient. 

“I have confidence they are doing the best they can, but it is obviously frustrating for us waiting. But they are doing the best they can. As we say last year, e-voting didn’t work out for the best, so paper ballots are the most legitimate thing to do during elections,” said Savva. 

Not everyone was so understanding, however. Savva’s opponent presidential candidate, Nathan Boivin, expressed dissatisfaction with the late results and before leaving campus, took the opportunity to explain why the SFUO electoral system is not functioning as well as it should.

“This is the exact issue that we have with the SFUO. It comes down to organization,” he explained. 

“Whoever wins tonight I hope that we are able to change elections, so that the results are actually on time. We had a great crowd out here … who all came to watch the elections. It’s two hours past due, it’s a Thursday night, and people have exams still. They already put those exams aside. So this is when we have to say enough is enough. We want to change these procedures for next year.”

All candidates except for Tristan Dénommée, Terry Morin and Logan Ouellette lefty campus between three and four in the morning under the impression that the results wouldn’t be released until the following day. At press time, 5:30 a.m. on Feb.18, results were still unavailable. 

“I am anxious. I can’t wait to figure out how it goes,” said Ouellette.

Fun Facts about this article 

  • The writer of this article Katherine DeClerq is now a reporter for CTV News Toronto.
  • Logan Ouellette now works in the tech industry in Germany.
  • Terry Morin is now the food and beverage manager at Nordik SPA Nature.
  • Jason Benovoy is now a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.
  • Tristan Dénnomée now works at Stelpro.