Williams College MinCo Members Against Post Facto Votes for the 2011-2012 Elections sign now

After the results of MinCo board election for 2011~2012 have been announced, a member of MinCo brought up complaints about the way that the actual elections ran, proposing for a re-vote for members who received the links to MinCo elections but did not get a chance to vote because they missed the deadline. On May 3rd, 2011, MinCo board met to discuss and vote on whether this re-election should happen and how the process should come about.

We, as members of MinCo who took part in the election and voted in a timely manner, feel that the power of our votes in this election was compromised by the decision of MinCo board to give a post facto voting privileges to 41 people who have neglected to vote in a timely manner or place grievances before the publication of the results.

1. The member who brought up the original charge against the manner that the elections were run was present for the establishment of rules for elections at the MinCo retreat. Clearly, she knew the people running the election, and the student could have brought up charges of conflict of interest or confusing deadlines in the time frame BETWEEN the end of votes and the announcement of results.

2. The 41 voters who abstained from voting on time now have the chance of voting AFTER the disclosure of how the original 138 voted. It is now impossible for this fact to be removed from the influence of the 41 votes. We speculate that these additional post facto votes may shift the results for the positions that had small margin of victory.

3. The power of the votes of the 138 people is now compromised. The original 138 people who voted on time had no knowledge of how other voters made their choices before making individual choices. The votes of the 41 people is now inherently more powerful in the impact of the outcomes of MinCo election results, just by the nature of a post facto election.

4. The decision to give this special treatment to the 41 members who did not vote on time also came about in a questionable manner. Without the rest of the subgroup members being informed of the conflict and giving opinions to their reps, the votes of the MinCo rep cannot possibly reflect the collective opinion of the groups they represent. The email of the original complaint was also not shared to the MinCo subgroup board members, keeping the members of MinCo from accurately communicating their opinion on the matter.

5. The opinions of non-MinCo board members were not fully represented during the discussion of the matter. Multiple people have expressed frustration in not being able to partake in the argument.

6. The public nature of the vote- in which MinCo board votes with full awareness of how others are voting- is a concerning point in a matter so complex and controversial. In addition, the impact of abstention was not fully explained to certain MinCo reps. At least one MinCo rep has expressed the sentiment that she was not properly informed of what abstaining her vote has the implications of.


Above all, we believe that this decision sets a poor precedent for MinCo operations in which one person, unhappy with the result of a popular vote, have the power to influence the results AFTER the votes have been counted and published.

CC does not hold re-elections because a handful of people miss the deadline for votes, when "voting" consists of clicking a few boxes after following a link sent to your email. This country does not extend voting time to those who fail to reach the voting booth. Why, then, is MinCo giving special privileges to people who failed to raise objections to election procedures or vote within the voting period?

We, the Undersigned, respectfully protest MinCo board's decision to privilege a few, who failed to follow established procedures, over the voices of many who have been diligent in keeping the fidelity of this election.

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Melinda KochBy:
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MinCo Board

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