Legitimacy of USI Preferendum in doubt following revelation of major flaw in voting system

Dave Ryan reports on what is being described as a ‘farcical’ vote.

Word reached The Student Observer at lunchtime today that the ongoing USI ‘Preferendum’, the crucial vote to establish USI’s position on third level funding, has serious flaws in its voting system.

The vote, which has been taking place at http://usivote.com , has presented a couple of issues that draw the entire vote into disrepute. The first issue that has been alleged, though I have not personally seen this, is that people are occasionally prompted with other student numbers, which is troubling enough. But the second issue is far more troubling indeed.

Former students are able to vote in this Preferendum. Now, this video could well be a hoax. So I, who have not been a registered student since May 2011, tried to vote:

My I.D. check

Well whaddya know?

Proof positive

So I was able to cast my vote, but as I am no longer a student, my view is not representative of what USI are aiming for. And if all former students find it as easy as I did, the results are completely distorted. Now, the debate must begin as to whether this vote should be abandoned entirely, or whether the results are remotely credible. When reached for comment on the matter, USI President Gary Redmond said:

“the sys[tem] is based on edugate.ie which queries each college’s database. [Student database] is held by college not USI”

Post-script: [14:17]

  •  I have been contacted by a former Maynooth student, who despite now being a full-time registered student at NUIG, was able to vote as an NUIM student.
  • A twitpic surfaces showing that it is possible to hack into the voting system’s admin 

Dave Ryan

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16 thoughts on “Legitimacy of USI Preferendum in doubt following revelation of major flaw in voting system

      • Nonetheless, we know this isn’t for us to vote on. Your feelings towards the USI are irrelevant to the current students and financing.

      • I think it is important to verify that a polling system is legitimate or not, the fact that non USI members CAN vote demostrates this very clearly and is a strong argument against the legitimacy of this vote.

        It is null and void because it is demonstrably ill implemented.

  1. According to Gary Redmond, that’s the “old test site”. logging in using vote.usivote.com brought me to a page thanking me for having already voted, so I’m not sure what’s going on.

  2. Pingback: Major flaws in USI voting system? | Belfast Studenty.me

  3. Pingback: Further Furore Surrounding USI Funding ‘Preferendum’ | The Student Observer

    • You contradict yourself in your first two lines. Please express your own views whilst not convoluting them with rhetoric ‘We, the students of Ireland…’

  4. Pingback: USI ‘preferendum’ in tatters, after voting and hacking errors discovered | StudentNews.ie, Ireland's third level news website

  5. Said admin backend flaw (from the video, no way am I going to pop that box!) seems to allow unauthenticated access to the DATABASE in which votes are stored.

    A quick bit of SQL and you could rewrite votes en masse…

    “Your Preferendum Is Invalid”

  6. Pingback: Further Furore Surrounding USI Funding ‘Preferendum’ | the Dependent

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