UPDATE: After performing a recount for the NUS Delegate positions on Thursday night, the Returning Officer has confirmed that the elected delegates did not change, although the margin for the final position had halved. The order of elected Swinburne NUS Delegates is:
- Ana Tinc (EVOLVE)
- Caitlin Bruty (EVOLVE)
- Sam Roberts (EVOLVE)
- Cody Bradford (EVOLVE)
- Anthony Osborne (Amplify)
- Fergus Clancy (EVOLVE)
- Christopher Jakobi (EVOLVE)
Our original article has been published below for reference.
If you thought the remnants of the Swinburne Student Election were done and dusted, think again. 3SSR has received written confirmation from the Returning Officer, Stephen Luntz, that the EVOLVE ticket has formally requested a recount for the seven Swinburne delegate positions for the National Union of Students.
Speculation of a recount surfaced after the distribution of preference flows during the initial vote count signalled long-time SSU figure and NUS Delegate, Brendan Spackman-Williams would miss out on the final NUS delegate position after fellow EVOLVE nominee and SSU Indigenous Representative Christopher Jakobi outpolled Spackman-Williams to secure the final delegate position.
3SSR understands that in a private Facebook post shortly after the result was clear, Brendan Spackman-Williams advocated against a recount if he believed it would either return the same outcome or oust “a fellow Evolve person and an indigenous voice at that”.
EVOLVE lost one of the seven NUS Delegate positions to rival ticket, Amplify‘s Anthony Osborne. Speaking to 3SSR, Osborne was disappointed that a recount had been called, as he suspects the recount “will just reconfirm what was already counted”. Osborne also mentioned that “at the end of the day, it’s students money that is being wasted on this recount.”
Above Quota Elections (AQE), who SSU has contracted to run their 2016 annual elections, will charge the Union if, upon a recount being undertaken, the elected delegates remains the same. Returning Officer, Stephen Luntz, has estimated that this will cost the Union approximately $500, although cautioned that the cost could be higher if the recount took longer than expected. If the elected candidates change as a result of the recount, there is no additional charge to the SSU (on top of the existing contract for electoral services).
It’s pertinent to note that Anthony Osborne was elected for the fifth NUS Delegate position and had surplus votes (after the allocation of preferences) that needed to be distributed prior to EVOLVE’s Fergus Clancy being elected for the sixth position. This means Anthony Osborne had a higher vote count when he was elected than the remaining three EVOLVE candidates (Clancy, Jakobi and Spackman-Williams).
When approached by 3SSR, the successfully elected EVOLVE President candidate, Ana Tinc, had no knowledge of the recount taking place: “No one has mentioned that at all to me! Last I heard we were going to leave it [the recount]”.
Brendan Spackman-Williams has indicated to 3SSR that the recount could potentially remove Anthony as an NUS delegate as “there were 11 provisional votes not counted, in addition to a small chance of incorrect vote [counts]”
The recount will be taken place this Thursday at 6:15pm in the UN Building.
UPDATE 8:06 PM: the article has been updated to reflect comment from Brendan on this issue.