An update by the Chair of the Arc Board, Sahana Nandakumar
Following the 2020 SRC Election, the Chair of the Arc Board received a letter of appeal relating to the decision of the Returning Officer to apply a penalty to the Left Action Ticket, which resulted in a deduction of 10% of their votes.
The appeal was extensively discussed by non-conflicted Directors of the Arc Board. This discussion was supported by presentations from both a Left Action representative and the Returning Officer. The Arc Board additionally sought external advice regarding the allegations of breach and the penalty imposed.
Subsequently, the Board established that there was a breach of conduct during SRC elections that limited the ability of the returning officer to effectively perform his duties. They also recognised that the Returning Officer had reviewed the circumstances and made a decision within existing Arc Regulations and reasonable parameters. As a result, the Arc Board voted to maintain the penalty imposed by the Returning Officer.
Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by COVID the 2020 SRC elections were held online. The Arc Board recognises that in relation to elections, the Arc Regulations are currently broad and don’t provide clear rules regarding online campaigning, as well as the powers of the Returning Officer. Whilst the decision was made within the remit of the current Arc Regulations the Arc Board commits to undertake to review these areas of the Arc Regulations, which will be led by the Nominations & Remuneration Board Subcommittee.