Unauthorized vote changes cause new Student Council election May 1


Midway Staff

Unauthorized changing of votes that delayed the Student Council election results have caused a new election which will be held May 1 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Due to an unauthorized changing of votes that delayed election results, a new Student Council election will be held May 1 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Election results were expected to be released April 28. Student Council leaders communicated they are unsure if the same system will be used for the May 1 election.

This Schoology announcement from All-School President Fermi Boonstra followed an afternoon of verbal and online speculation by students about technical difficulties on the election website. By 2 p.m. Ana Campos, dean of students, commented on a Schoology post saying she and Student Council were aware of the issues and working on it. The election was locked down around 2:10 p.m., according to Fermi’s announcement. 

Fermi said in her message that a script was used hundreds of times on the website that favored specific candidates over others over the span of several seconds. 

“Having a Student Council to represent the student body is a privilege, and it is beyond upsetting that someone would attempt to alter the student voice,” Fermi wrote in her message. 

James McCullen, an all-school president candidate and current all-school secretary, said in an interview that he had concerns before voting took place. 

James posted on his Instagram account, “If this doesn’t convince you of the reckless incompetence of the school establishment then I don’t know what will. Do not let your voice be silenced!”

All-school treasurer candidate Carter Chang said he wishes the anticipation was over. 

“I am really upset because I was expecting the results today and now I have to wait over the weekend,” he said. “There was all this adrenaline and then you just don’t see the results and now it’s delayed.”

Maurice Neuman, an all-school Cultural Union vice president candidate, said the current Student Council members handled the situation well.

“They set up a meeting and did what they had to do,” Maurice said. “Of course I am disappointed, but I’m hopeful for a fair election and that the results will go up Monday.” 

Additional reporting contributed by Mia Lipson, Audrey Matei and Audrey Park. The Midway will update coverage as more information becomes available. 

Student Council’s full message is below:

Dear students,

We want to thank all of the students who reached out to share their concerns about their votes having been changed today without their knowledge. We write to let you know what we have learned, and the path forward.

We have been able to determine that unauthorized changing of votes took place directly in the database starting during lunch period. It appears that a script was used to favor a specific order of candidates hundreds of times in the span of a few seconds. This behavior was repeated several times this afternoon. The DOSTS locked the election down around 2:10 p.m. when they noticed the irregularities as they were working to identify the issue, which is why students were unable to change their votes this afternoon. There is no indication that students’ Google accounts were compromised as the database is separate from the website and Google log-in, and IS will verify.

In order for the student body to have confidence in the integrity of the election, we have invalidated today’s election and will hold a new one on Monday. The election will be from 8 a.m.–3 p.m. as usual.

Please note, the candidates have been advised that there may not be any additional campaigning on personal and/or campaign-related social media accounts and websites starting now. They may direct students to their video and written statement on the Student Council website only. They are welcome to encourage people to vote for them verbally on Monday, as always. 

The Student Council election is an important way that students can have their voice represented and the validity of the results should not have to be questioned. Having a Student Council to represent the student body is a privilege and it is beyond upsetting that someone would attempt to alter the student voice. We were looking forward to announcing the winners this afternoon and are disappointed that this news will be delayed until Monday.


Fermi, Graham, Jeffrey, and Asher