In the winter 2017 Undergraduate Student Government election, the voting ballot appears to be open to more than just undergraduate students. Rather, a detail on the voting website, Helios Voting, shows that the ballot is open to “any CAS user.”
“CAS” refers to the Central Authentication Service that allows web applications to authenticate users. At the University, any person with a valid netID can be authenticated, which includes undergraduate students, as well as faculty, administrators, and graduate students.
Jeff Lestz, a graduate student in the Theory Department at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, was able to access the ballot when he found the link to the ballot while scrolling through his Facebook feed.
“On the page, it said something like that anyone with a CAS account or log-in was eligible for the election, which seemed kind of odd to me because you’d think only undergrads can vote on undergrad stuff,” Lestz said.
Lestz noted that he was successful in voting for the unopposed USLC chair candidate Tania Bore ’20. However, he said that he wasn’t deemed eligible to vote in the class-specific elections.
USG president Myesha Jemison ’18 clarified that, after checking with the host of the website, USG could not restrict the voting to only undergraduate students. They could, however, restrict voting to a certain class year in the case of class elections.
USG does have a way to monitor votes to filter any voting discrepancies, Jemison noted. After the election, ballots will be checked with the record of currently enrolled undergraduate students.
“Once we see [a] discrepancy, that [ballot] would probably be rendered invalid,” Jemison said.
University students vote through Helios Voting, an online voting system that prides itself on offering “verifiable online elections.”
Chief Elections Manager Laura Hausman ’20 did not respond to request for comment.