On 7 March, the London Student published an article alleging electoral fraud in the Students’ Union’s Lent Term Election for General Secretary.
The article raised questions of legitimacy based on an Excel document, that was not timestamped, showing that there were a total of 2161 votes cast in the election; the final votes recorded came to a total of 2189, as reported both by the Beaver and the Students’ Union website.
A source within the Students’ Union said, “the spreadsheet, if real, does not constitute a final copy.” The student who originally circulated the spreadsheet informed the Beaver that it was sent to her by a member of the LSE Students’ Union’s staff.
The article insinuates that the 28 vote discrepancy, which was also the margin by which Alex Peters-Day won the election, may be indicative of foul-play. At Election Results night, Josh Still, Returning Officer, announced that incumbent Peters-Day defeated Mohammed Morley with 902 votes to 874 votes.
The NUS and the School will now be conducting an investigation. The following message was sent to members of Council: “members of Council may be aware that following the LSESU Lent Term elections, two of the unsuccessful candidates have made formal complaints allegeding electoral irregularities. The Council has a duty under s.22 of the Education Act 1994 to satisfy itself that SU elections are fairly and properly conducted. The LSESU have arranged for an investigation to be carried out by Ben Ward, the Interim Head of NUS Charity, and the School is co-operating fully with the inquiry. Council members will be informed of the outcome in due course.”
More details to come as they become available.