ONE THOUSAND ‘tampered’ votes reportedly cast in NUS referendum

NUS referendum in scandalous allegations that suggest 1000 votes were tampered with in vote for Oxford to leave NUS

News has broken this evening of allegations of serious malpractice in the NUS referendum.

The referendum, which took place between Monday and Wednesday this week, saw Oxford students vote to leave the NUS.

However, reports have broken this evening that over 1,000 votes are believed to have been tampered in the vote.

Referendum results announced on Wednesday suggested that the ‘No’ campaign had won by a small margin

In a statement on the ‘No’ campaign’s website, ‘Believe in Oxford’, campaign leader Jack Matthews said,

“My suspicions were first raised at the count, where I observed that significantly more voter codes had been issued than was necessary. I was also surprised by the larger than expected turnout, both overall, and for ‘NO’. At this stage there was no evidence of impropriety, but I decided there was at least cause for further inquiry, and so I commissioned an informal investigation.

“It became clear that there were serious irregularities in the votes cast, specifically that large clusters of ‘NO’ votes appeared to have been cast at the same time, and from the same location”.

A joint statement from Matthews and ‘Yes to NUS’ campaigner and OUSU president Tom Rutland said, “We are both concerned that the result of the referendum did not accurately reflect the views of students. We await the decision of the Junior Tribunal, and will be working together over the coming weeks to ensure that the democratic principles of OUSU are upheld”.

The matter has now been referred to the Junior Tribunal.

Under OUSU rules, the Junior Tribunal must make its decision within 96 hours of the complaint being filed.

 3464 students voted in the referendum- bringing turn out to 15% of the total eligible student population.

The ‘No’ campaign was declared victorious with a slim margin of 1780 against 1652.

However, in a tweet this evening, Tom Rutland said that he now believes the turn out to have been approximately 11% with somewhere in the region of 70% of votes supporting Oxford staying part of the NUS- compared to 30% of  students voting against.

More updates to follow.