Univ WCR inadvertently opened up its elections to the whole world last week.
The WCR, Univ’s middle common room, ran elections for the posts of Secretary and Environment Officer on the website Survey Monkey. No password was required so anyone could vote.
Michael Garabet, WCR President, seemed shocked when The Oxford Student informed him yesterday that that the link to the survey had been posted on the Facebook account of a Balliol student.
“We were not aware of this at all,” he said, promising to void the results, and re-do the election.
By way of excuse, Garabet explained that the previous Secretary had resigned for personal reasons at the start of this term, and the WCR urgently needed people to represent it on college committees.
Both posts only had one candidate. Voters could either vote for the candidate, or to re-open nominations.
He did not use the WCR’s usual, more secure election software because “there would have been delays”.
Survey Monkey is a popular free website. It gives the IP address of respondents, identifying the computer the survey was taken from. However, this would not be able to distinguish between Univ students who voted from outside the college, and the rest of the world.