Friday, May 29, 2009

Urgent Memo to Supporters about Pre-Election Results

Dear friends and fellow supporters.

I want to thank you all for your support in my run for the President of the Harvard Extension Student Association. Regardless of the outcome of the election, I’m happy to have participated in this campaign because I made so many wonderful new friends and deepened my relationships with existing ones. For instance, spending quality time with my dear friends to make those sentimental video messages is something I will cherish for a lifetime.

There are strange occurences, unanswered obstacles, and suspect behavior that were brought to my attention and I hope to address each one before the outcomes of the results are known at the Saturday afternoon barbeque when the winner will be announced.

1. Many of my supporters received emails from Dean Neugeboren earlier in the week indicating that the polls would close on Friday, May 29th at 6 p.m. when in fact the polls closed 6 hours earlier at 12 noon.

2. Atleast one of my supporters contacted Dean Neugeboren multiple times notifying him that the ballot link was not accepting his submission. While this supporter was persistent enough to email back-and-forth with Dean Neugeboren for several days until his vote was cast, we don’t know at this point how many other people who wanted to vote had a similar issue.

3. On Friday, May 29th at 5:30 p.m. I ran into someone who received an email from “HESA” on Wednesday indicating that Andre Bisasor had won the election. I also read a string of posts on ExtensionStudent.com that instructed students that Electronic polls close on Tuesday, May 26th.

4. The events in #3 coincided with me waking up on Wednesday morning realizing that my Facebook account with 600+ friends and over 150+ Harvard Extension students had been disabled and I was no longer able to log-into my account. Several friends informed me that rumors circulated that my campaign had ended since Andre had won. I quickly started a new Facebook account and started from ground zero again.

5. When I opened a new account I added open-membership Facebook groups with Harvard Extension designation and realized that three of the groups moderated by the same establishment individual who endorsed my opponent did not properly allow me to join which prevented me from posting on the group wall or discussion.

My supporters have fought very hard for me to come this far. What matters to me more than the result of the election is the fact that we participate in a system of free and fair elections. When problems occur like the ones I’ve my supporters have endured then one has to wonder whether the system is flawed, rigged, and needs to become transparent so that people can believe and trust the system.

For any of my supporters who have received emails earlier in the week from someone acting as HESA and suggesting that Andre Bisasor won the election when the polls were still open, I would urge to send an email to Dean Robert Neugeboren at neugebor@fas.harvard.edu and feel free to send a copy to me at sadat@fas.harvard.edu and/or nematsadat@gmail.com.

For more campaign information, please visit: nematsadat.blogspot.com.

Many thanks,

Nemat Sadat

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