After problems, Honor Council referendum rescheduled

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February 23, 2009

1:22 PM

**Update: 1:29 p.m.**

Today’s Honor Council elections, which were plagued by various technical problems, have been rescheduled for this Wednesday. The decision was explained in a message to students from Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler ’88 Ph.D. ’06.

“We apologize for the technical difficulties concerning today’s Honor Council Elections and Honor Code Revision,” the message said. “There were were errors in the Opinio setup: one was a Microsoft Word coding issue which, on some ballots, covered the area to select one’s vote for the referendum. The second error allowed any individual, even those not affiliated with the College, to gain backdoor access to the base survey. Unknown individuals found and distributed this link which allowed anyone who clicked it the ability to vote an unlimited number of times. The Honor Council is working with IT to investigate this matter further. A new vote will be held this Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.”

__Check back with flathatnews.com for updates on this developing story.__

**1:20 p.m.**

Serious problems with the Honor Council elections today have thrown into doubt the legitimacy of the referendum.

Undergraduate students at the College of William and Mary were supposed to elect new Honor Council members and vote on a referendum altering the Honor Code. Strong opposition to the changes were voiced by many students on campus.

Members of the Honor Council and the Student Assembly, however, were flooded with complaints from students experiencing difficulties with the vote, which is taking place on the online survey tool Opinio instead of the Student Information Network. [1]

“I voted this morning without incident, but since then I have been flooded with emails by angry students,” SA Sen. Walter McClean ’09 said in an e-mail to Dean of Students Patricia Volp, Council of Chairs President Matt Dinan ’09 and The Flat Hat.

McClean warned that the ballot, which as of publishing was “closed for editing,” could be tainted.

“If the ballot is being changed mid election, for any reason, even to correct a mix-up, the election is inherently ruined,” he said. “You cannot have different students voting for different ballots.”

Members of the Honor Council said they were attempting to fix the problems.

“We are currently experiencing several technical difficulties with the voting website, and have had to shut it down while we fix them,” Honor Council member Katie McCown ’09 said in a message to the referendum’s Facebook event. “An e-mail will be sent out to the student body later today explaining the problems and telling you how the voting process will be completed.”

fn1. __This sentence has been corrected. It previously stated that SIN was the prescribed voting system in the Honor Council bylaws. The bylaws were changed in January to allow the use of any online polling system.__

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