Online GSA Elections: Innovation or Poor Planning?

The Graduate Student Association's decision to hold its annual election online this year has raised concerns over the security of the voting.

"The program has a lot of problems with glitches," said Roberto Lopez, editor of The Graduate Quill, the graduate student newspaper.

According to the April 8 issue of The Quill, online voting could cause problems because the server is prone to crashing and there will be no physical ballot box to reference in the event the election is contested or if the results are disputed.

If the votes are contested, checking for tampering will be difficult to impossible, said Lopez.

GSA Election Commissioner Sandra Connelly said the only problem with the online elections would be for graduate students based off campus who relinquish their rights to UB IT accounts. The IT accounts allow students access to UBlearns, the system used to coordinate the voting and "the most secure server on campus," said Connelly.

Those students, however, will have an alternative method available for use. "We are issuing them absentee paper ballots," she said.

Voting will begin on Monday, April 22 at 7 a.m. and will run until 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24. To participate, graduate students can log on to as usual, click on the courses link and then on the entry "Graduate Student Association," which will open up the voting information.