Thursday, September 24, 2009

Voting Problems


A very serious new problem has arisen regarding the faculty poll that could lead to some faculty being disenfranchised. It is crucial that faculty members who believe they have voted return to Employee Link to see whether an "I Voted" icon appears. If it doesn't, the system has not accepted their ballots and they need to vote again.

Faculty members need to check with Employee Link to verify whether their ballots have been accepted. If they have to vote again, they should receive a message saying "Thanks for voting" or "I voted" immediately after submitting their ballot. Even if you receive that message, it would be a good idea to return once more to Employee Link to check that the "I Voted" icon appears on the screen when you log back in.

When I sent an urgent message to my 13 colleagues in the School of Journalism last night, asking them to return to Employee Link, I soon heard from one of them that he had encountered this problem. Since yesterday afternoon I've heard from faculty members in Agriculture, SBS, and Science that this happened to them, so it's not a problem confined to one college.

Incidentally, several faculty I heard from said this problem was not the result of using a colon in the comments section of the ballot. They had avoided doing that because they had heard about the problem. One recommendation might be to use no punctuation except periods, because some punctuation marks or special characters can be significant in programming languages, and could possibly have caused the type of problem that the colon created. Another possibility is that problems could be caused by some browsers, such as Camino. Anyone who had voting problems should use one of the recommended web browsers.

I've alerted the faculty leadership about these issues, as have some of other faculty. The underlying concern, of course, is that the poll is so important that everything possible must be done to ensure that everyone's voice is heard, and that the validity of the poll results are not undermined in any way.

Jacqueline Sharkey
Director, School of Journalism

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