Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Major flaw in SRJC online voting system?

UPDATE (Thursday, November 18, 2010):  The problem was resolved.  See my post here.

This week, Santa Rosa Junior College, my alma mater, is holding a student election to decide a student center fee referendum.  If passed, the referendum would require that most students be charged a $1 per unit student center fee up to a maximum of $10 per student per academic year.  The fee would be used for expenses related to student centers on the campuses, the new Bertolini Student Center, which opened earlier this year on the main campus, being the most notable such student center.

Elections have been online at SRJC from the time of the main student elections this past spring.  On Monday, the first day of this week's election, I logged into the myCubby student portal (named after the school's mascot, the Bear Cub) online and found that it appeared that the system would allow me to vote even though I am no longer a student at SRJC.  Last night, I installed a video screen capture program on my computer and attempted to go through with the process.  It appears that I was indeed permitted by the system to vote in the election.  As you will see in the video below, I was even shown a "Thank you for voting" dialog box.  It is to be hoped that my vote and any votes like it will not actually be counted.  The voting software should filter out the votes of people who are not registered in any classes; or, better yet, it should not even give the appearance that it is allowing these people to vote.

If adequate software safeguards such as those I have described above are not in place, it is possible that the validity of this week's election will be called into question. It is very possible, however, that the computers are indeed set so that only votes from enrolled students are counted. But there is no way to tell by looking at the website.

I was Vice President of Santa Rosa Campus on the Associated Students Senate from November 2009 until I graduated in May 2010.

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