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Disputed Election: Computerized Voting Questioned At Hunter College

John Tarleton May 13, 2004

By John Tarleton
 
The Student Liberation Action Movement (SLAM) had won eight consecutive student government elections at Hunter College since its inception in 1996. This spring they were swept out of office by a more than 2 to 1 margin.
 
The difference according to SLAM: electronic voting.  SLAM’s opponents point to a record turnout in the April 26-29 elections and say the complaints are just sour grapes.
 
Ana Lemus, a junior education major who ran as SLAM’s presidential candidate, says the new system privileged more affluent students, was plagued by a number of administrative glitches and provided no paper trail for ensuring that votes were accurately recorded.
 
“Since the moment I learned we were going to have electronic voting, I felt “we’ve lost”, Lemus says.
 
“That’s absolutely ridiculous,” says Miles Gerety, a junior film major who was elected president on the slate of Hunter United, the opposition group that formed to run against SLAM. “It [electronic voting] is not a perfect system.  But, it’s more accountable than the voting machines we had last year.”
 
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