The result of the election for Auditor of the 102nd session of UCD’s Law Society is being appealed by Chris Lee. Lee placed second in Wednesday’s election, losing out by thirty-three votes to Sinéad Rooney and is “contesting the validity of the election” on the basis that the society’s membership lists were “short approximately one-fifth.”
A statement made by Lee and his campaign team reads, “We are appealing on the grounds that the membership list in the possession of the returning office, for the purpose of indicating those eligible to vote, was incomplete and frequently found to be inaccurate,” further stating in an interview with the University Observer that “We think it is in the better interest of the society to contest the result. A lot of the members are aggrieved that their votes were disregarded. A lot of members feel that their votes may have changed the result, and the election was run incorrectly.”
Lee affirmed, “The system used throughout the day to determine whether someone could vote was egregiously inconsistent; some people were deemed valid voters on presentation of membership cards whilst others were not, some people were asked for photo identification whilst again others were not, and the list the returning office was finally referring to in all cases was rife with errors.”
The complaint was registered with the society’s legal assessors, who will make the decision regarding how the complaint will be acted upon. Rooney commented, “I’d say that Chris has a right to contest the election and that the decision lies in the hands of the legal assessors. I am happy with whatever decision they come to,” before adding “I think that the situation and the election was incredibly unfortunate, and that we can do nothing but wait and see what the decision of the legal assessors is.”
When asked who was to blame for the missing membership information, Rooney stated “I don’t know who is to blame… I wouldn’t put the blame on anyone.”
When questioned on how long the appeal process would take to come to a decision, Lee said “We are unaware of how long it would take the Societies Officer Richard Butler to process the appeal, however, we have been informed by the legal assessors that they intend to process the appeal this evening or in the next few days, but their decision may not be binding as Richard Butler will make the final call.” Societies’ Officer Richard Butler stated, “If there’s a case put forward then work will be ongoing on it immediately, over the weekend and into the oncoming week.”
Previous Law Society Auditor, Francis Mc Namara, refused to comment, while Lee said Mc Namara is “absolutely not” to blame for the loss of the membership lists.