The elections staff this year are lovely — they’re warm, welcoming, friendly and eager to help. They’re also, for the most part, categorically useless at their jobs.
First of all, the all-candidates’ meeting didn’t actually announce all the candidates. The reason we were given was that there was no transition report given to the AMS elections staff, but anyone who has the slightest knowledge of the workings of the society knows that there would be no reason to be at that meeting other than that announcement. In short, it was a waste of time for everyone in attendance who wasn't a candidate.
Secondly, on February 18, we received the most desperate email we’ve ever seen, begging for help with writing debate questions because — in the words of the staffer — they were in “dire need” of someone with the slightest clue of what the AMS is. The debate was on February 23. The fact that this person was so worried, five days before the debate, that they would have no questions for it suggests a serious lack of preparation, planning and training given to elections staff.
The staff have also publicly announced that debate moderators were arranged last minute — literally the night before the debate itself. In debates that have the potential to shape voter opinion, it's simply unacceptable to hire a moderator who has almost no time to prepare their questions. That said, we believe that the moderators did a wonderful job even when one doesn't consider the fact that they were recruited the previous night, so kudos to them.
Again, the elections staff is made up of wonderful people who have been nothing but pleasant to us and everyone involved in this process. But it is hard to understand why whomever was responsible for the elections staff's hiring and training did not do their job in a way which would allow elections to run in a professional manner.
This article has been updated from an earlier version to better reflect the opinion of The Ubyssey.