Voting system breach during council referendum at Sheffield

The system has since been amended


A number of non-students managed to avoid restrictions and cast votes in on a recent referendum petition at The University of Sheffield, The Tab can reveal.

The five Guests were able to cast a vote on the petition calling for the creation of two new positions for 'Societies Councillor' and 'Sports Councillor' on SU Council.

The university has previously stated they have a strict no access policy for guests when it comes to voting on union matters and that the system is set up to identify non-students before they vote.

The petition in question received an unprecedented number of up-votes, reaching a historic total of 1041 and was the first of its kind to reach 1000 votes or more.

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The petition

When questioned about the incident, SU President Lilian Jones said: "Five non-students were identified for the new councillor referendum and were automatically discounted and the non-students were notified that their vote would not count."

"The remaining 1028 up-votes that the petition received were all from students. No other matters posted on the SU website have reached 1000 up-votes and all of our societies have the capability of designing a custom URL for petitions," she added.

The new voting system, which was introduced at some point over the past year, states a petition must reach 1000 up-votes before it is taken to a referendum.

The SU have confirmed that, since the breach, the voting system has been amended to ensure non-students can no longer reach the vote casting page.

It remains unclear how many guests may have voted on the SU website since the system was introduced or whether there is a way to track this activity.

A vote on the proposal took place during the SU election period in late February, in which it won 2107 votes to 486 with 295 abstentions.

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