by Tomos Evans
Cardiff University has apologised after almost two hundred students failed to register to vote at their Cardiff addresses.
Students had been sent an email in November with a link to a page on SIMS, Cardiff University’s online portal. Once they had submitted their details, the students’ information would be shared with Cardiff Council.
However, due to an “administrative error”, the students’ details were not shared with the Council ahead of the legal deadline to register to vote in the General Election.
Affected students were notified of the error only yesterday afternoon, via email, in which the University apologised “unreservedly”.
A spokesperson for Cardiff University said that “it is difficult to give an accurate figure as some students may have registered outside of the University’s enrolment process”.
The Cardiff University spokesperson said that the University wrote to “some 180 students advising them of the error”. However, they emphasised that “The vast majority of students, some 5,800, who registered through our SIMS enrolment process are able to vote”.
“I feel completely let down”
Many students took to social media to voice their disappointment at the error.
Megan Malthouse, one student who was affected, told Gair Rhydd, “I feel completely let down, and incredibly frustrated that this has been allowed to happen”.
Megan continued, “I’m trying to arrange a trip home which will cost me so much in time, money and missed lectures, but may not be viable given my working shifts”.
Megan has called on the University “to reimburse any students who have had to make alternative arrangements to go home and vote, and offer them some kind of formal apology that we were told so last minute”.
In response to the call for reimbursement, a Cardiff University spokesperson said that “those students affected should submit a complaint through our student complaints procedure”. They added, “All complaints are considered on a case-by-case basis”.
Another affected student, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Gair Rhydd that it is “disappointing that an educational institution would let me down in such a manner”.
The student added that “Luckily I was registered to vote in my home town, however I fear for the students who were not and will be unable to partake in the democratic process which our great country was founded on”.
“We are deeply sorry”
A spokesperson for Cardiff University said: “We are deeply sorry and apologise, unreservedly.
“We have contacted all students we believe are affected. As soon as the issue was brought to our attention, we did everything possible to put it right. Unfortunately, the legal deadline for registration had passed.
“We will undertake a full review of our processes to ensure this can never happen again”.
SU President, Jackie Yip, told Gair Rhydd, “It is extremely alarming to hear about the number of students that may potentially be denied the right to vote due to clerical errors in the registration system.
“Any student who has registered to vote and has since found they are not on the electoral register should contact the Electoral Registration Office as soon as possible to clearly explain what has happened, it is not too late to ensure your voice is heard.
“The Students’ Union will be calling for a significant investigation into these failures to ensure they are not repeated in the future.”