Monday, March 22, 2010

VFM horserace page shows history of funding shares [#ubcvotes]

You can now see the history of all funded media for one community on a "horserace" page -- enjoy!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

UBC VFM Awards [#ubcvotes]

This morning we calculated the last of 10 daily awards ($1500 total; info here) in the current UBC voter funded media competition. Winners are:

AMS Confidential -- $567
UBC Insiders -- $559.50
The UBC Spectator -- $216
The Radical Beer Tribune -- $157.50

Congratulations! Thank you to all participants -- media, voters, elections administrators, electoral candidates, and especially to the Arts Undergrad Society for sponsoring this competition. AUS will be paying the awards, so I guess the contact is arts.ubc.elections[at]

Voting continues on the VFM ballot. Hopefully awards will be funded again some time. You can see the daily history of shares by clicking on any share% number.

[Twitter #ubcvotes]

Friday, March 19, 2010

VFM for B.C. Municipal Elections

Today I submitted this comment letter to the British Columbia Local Government Elections Task Force, advocating voter funded media for municipal elections. The task force will recommend legislation to improve local government electoral processes. (Pdf file available at
Media for voters, funded by voters

March 19, 2010

Local Government Elections Task Force
c/o Ministry of Community and Rural Development
PO Box 9839 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9T1

Submitted by email to

Re: Public financing for local government election campaigns

Dear Task Force members:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

UBC elections hack update

The team investigating the voter fraud in January's UBC AMS elections gave another report at last night's AMS Council meeting. Details: UBC Insiders has posted an informative summary, and The Ubyssey has published an article.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

UBC VFM blitz!

The UBC Arts Undergraduate Society Elections Committee has generously decided to sponsor voter funded media during the upcoming constituency elections. They will award a total of $1500, at a rate of $150 per day for 10 days from Friday March 12 through Sunday March 21.

This is designed to benefit all the UBC constituency elections happening during that period, including Arts, Science, Engineering and Human Kinetics. Thank you AUS! See the multi-election info website

Media voting will be on the same Continuous VFM ballot we have been using for the UBC AMS: with same media continuing, unless any let me know they want to drop out.

NOTE: Only votes cast after noon tomorrow (Thursday March 11) will count! So the rankings will start afresh on the daily tally early Friday morning. (I'll probably trigger an interim tally Thursday afternoon so everyone can see how it's going.) This creates a big incentive for the media to get your readers voting ASAP, ideally by Thursday night.

It's also a great opportunity for new media to enter the fray. Please follow the entry instructions at For fastest upload, email entry to me (mark[at] If you emailed an entry to Taylor Lukacin that's OK too -- she's forwarding them to me.

There's no entry fee. Usual CVFM terms apply:

Our plan is for the AUS to pay the awards directly to media winners. We at will just be managing the ballot, tallying votes, calculating and displaying the awards on a best efforts basis, with no money paid to, from or via us.

Have fun!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

UBC AMS elections got hacked!

Someone figured out how to vote over 700 times in the recent University of British Columbia student union (AMS) elections (January 25 - 29). It's still being investigated, but Elections Administrator Isabel Ferreras presented a preliminary report to AMS Council on March 3.

I was involved because I helped the Elections Committee calculate the voter funded media (VFM) awards. We were running two VFM competitions simultaneously -- 1-time VFM and Continuous VFM -- see comparison table. 1-time VFM was on the AMS elections ballot, which required a UBC login to vote. Continuous VFM was on this page, where anyone could vote without logging in.

Surprisingly, it was the login-protected ballot that got hacked. That's why the Elections Committee didn't spot it, and why it took me 2 weeks to spot it -- no one expected such a thing. Now we're all older & wiser.

Check out the light-hearted coverage from AMS Confidential. UBC Spectator live-blogged the AMS Council meeting with Isabel's report: