Council Report Details Vote Tampering

Social Committee Chairs to Call for Vice Chair Maya Prabhu's Impeachment

Senior members of the Undergraduate Council--stung by the second set of allegations of election tampering in as many weeks--said last night that they hoped the latest controversy would be resolved quickly and amicably.

But the preliminary report of an internal panel that is investigating charges against Vice Chair Maya G. Prabhu '94 made that outcome appear unlikely. And several council officials said privately that they fear the episode could seriously undermine the legislative body's credibility.

Two council members said they would enter motions for Prabhu's impeachment at a meeting of the full council tomorrow evening.

The panel report, released to The Crimson yesterday, confirmed that ballots for this week's council social committee co-chair election were tampered with, though the report did not place blame for the discrepancies or offer recommendations on how the council should proceed.

"The report should not be taken as any sort of judgment or conclusion," said panel member David L. Duncan '93. "It's sort of the bare facts."


Duncan and three other council members were asked to investigate the election after the two defeated co-chair candidates, Marc D. McKay '94 and Spyros Poulios '95, contested its validity.

A re-vote conducted Thursday night by Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 resulted in McKay and Poulios being declared the winners.

McKay said after the re-vote that he thought the discrepancy was likely the result of an honest mistake.

Last night, however, the Kirkland House representative said that the report had changed his mind, adding that he would join Poulios in moving for Prabhu's recall at tomorrow night's meeting.

"More and more, it looks to me like Maya threw the election away from me," McKay said. "I didn't want to accuse her, but this report is simply facts and the facts don't speak well for her."

Prabhu continued to maintain her innocence in an interview with The Crimson last night. The Dunster House representative--who earlier accused Poulios of threatening and aggressive behavior toward her--said the entire episode had left her "shaken."

"I have no idea what to say to all this, really," Prabhu said. "I've worked so hard for this council, it feels like a terrible blow to everything I've said and fought for and spoken for at the U.C."

Prabhu said after Thursday's re- vote that of the 13 ballots she had originallycollected, seven were for Loong and Do and sixwere for McKay and Poulios.

But according to the panel report, the re-voteresulted with Poulios and McKay receiving ninevotes and Loong and Do only four.

In addition, the report said, council memberswho searched the council's offices in the 12 hoursafter the election recovered a total of 17ballots, four more than Prabhu reported counting.

Of the 13 social committee members who voted inthe contested election, 11 identified theirballots out of the 17 recovered when asked to doso by Jewett, the report said.

Of the six unclaimed ballots, five were for Doand Loong and the other for McKay and Poulios, thereport said. Two committee members who said theyvoted for McKay and Poulios said they could notidentify their ballots.

Council members close to the investigation saidlast night that the report leaves little doubt theelection was tampered with.

"The evidence points less and less to thepossibility of an honest mistake," said oneexecutive board member close to the investigation.

The student legislators agreed that the flurryof charges and counter-charges have damaged thecouncil's reputation, and they hoped the incidentwould be smoothed over overshadow their effortsfor the rest of the semester.

"I certainly hope that whoever is responsibleadmits to it before the council has to go throughweeks and weeks of name calling andsuspicion...when no one can concentrate on theyear's agenda," said the council executive. "Wedon't want this thing to loom over us for theentire semester.