This morning The Scoop received an email from a Course Representative of the School of Maths and Physics, stating their concern regarding a potential breach of an election regulation in the QUBSU Student Leader Election.
The email contained a message which was sent by current VP for Education, Hannah Niblock, to the Maths and Physics School Course Representatives.
In the email sent by Niblock to the representatives, she urges students to consider voting for her and sets out her plans for the future.
Niblock goes on to say:
“The school of Maths and Physics [is] one of the largest schools at QUB and has the potential to swing this entire election whatever way suits you. At the moment only roughly 30 students have voted out of nearly 1000. You guys could lead the charge up to 100 or more votes by the close of polling tomorrow.”
Has an electoral rule been broken?
The election regulations clearly state that “candidates and their supporters must not send unsolicited text messages or emails to any voter”, this email sent by Niblock could be seen as such an action.
We contacted Niblock and she was confident that she has not broken any election regulations.
Niblock told us that she did not send the email from her professional account and she further added that any Course Representatives email can be found online, and as such, she wasn’t using her position as VP Education to gain any unfair advantage.
The Returning Officer, Keelin McGrogan is responsible for investigating any complaints of electoral fraud.
The Scoop contacted the Returning Officer who told us:
“QUB representative information is publicly available online. All candidates have access to this information. This is information is not restricted to the officer team.”
Keelin McGrogan stressed that if we believed any electoral rule had been breached, we should fill in the online complaints form so that the matter can be investigated.