Tuesday, April 4, 2023
Dear members of the TMSU,
We are writing to provide you with a critical update regarding the TMSU Elections & Referenda Committee (ERC)’s recent decision and the forthcoming actions to ensure the integrity of our election process.
On Thursday, March 30, 2023 the TMSU Elections & Referenda Committee (ERC) released a Special Decision of the ERC on Election Integrity focused on misconduct during the voting period. The ERC determined that there would be a new in-person, physical ballot election to be held from April 11-13, 2023. Since the release of that decision, however, new evidence has been presented to the committee that raises significant concerns about the integrity of the entire election process, not just the voting process which was the subject of our last Special Decision.
The newly-presented evidence alleges serious violations of the TMSU By-laws and Elections Procedures Code. Upon reviewing the new evidence, the ERC has come to the conclusion that there has been, and continues to be, persistent intentional efforts to undermine the integrity of the entire TMSU election process. These conclusions are set out in our Addendum to the Special Decision of the ERC on Election Integrity.
In light of this evidence, the ERC is of the view that the integrity of the entire election process – both the nominations and the vote that already took place – has been irredeemably compromised. It would not be possible to ensure that the vote currently planned for next week would result in a fair election result. The ERC has decided to rule the entire election invalid. The physical ballot election planned for April 11-13, 2023 is canceled.
According to TMSU By-laws, the TMSU must hold a by-election in the fall. To maintain operational continuity during this time, the TMSU By-laws and policy requires the organization to appoint executive members and board directors who will temporarily hold office until the Fall 2023 by-elections. The appointment process will be determined in consultation with legal counsel and the Board of Directors to ensure transparency and fairness. All TMSU members will be eligible to put themselves forward for consideration for these interim positions.
There has been a lot of information and misinformation shared about the TMSU over the past two months. We know that members are rightfully tired. We want to assure you that the ERC and the TMSU are working diligently to ensure the integrity of our elections and the organization more broadly, and keep students aware of the process, next steps and accountability mechanisms that are in place during these times. We will continue to keep students informed of the next steps to be taken and provide further information as it is confirmed.
The ERC takes election misconduct extremely seriously. We have therefore also decided to initiate an independent, third-party investigation into the election misconduct that occurred during the 2023 General Elections. We are currently working with legal counsel with the goal of initiating this independent investigation as swiftly as possible.
We understand that this situation is unprecedented, and we appreciate your patience and support as we work diligently to uphold the integrity of our elections and the democratic process within TMSU. We remain committed to keeping you informed throughout the investigation and appointment processes, and we welcome any questions or concerns you may have.
Thank you for your understanding and continued commitment to the TMSU community,
Elections & Referenda Committee