Following allegations of vote-rigging, Max Ghose resigns

June 26, 2023
[caption id="attachment_429" align="alignleft" width="509"]Following allegations of vote-rigging, Max Ghose resigns. Max Ghose[/caption] A week after charges of vote-rigging appeared to assure the choice of a friend as his successor, THE PRESIDENT OF THE CAMBRIDGE UNION RESIGNED, according to The Times. After the union's internal investigation uncovered multiple irregularities in the election of officials for the 2024 Lent term, Max Ghose resigned. The investigation was started after James Hardy, the deputy returning officer for the election, informed the review committee that Ghose, an Old Eton College alumnus, had engaged in electoral wrongdoing. According to the report, Hardy described it as one of ‘the most astonishing acts of electoral malpractice I have seen’. Ghose was serving as the election's principal returning officer. He allegedly accessed the spreadsheet that contained the results of the vote after the polls closed. Screenshots taken from the spreadsheet showed that changes to the spreadsheet were made between 6.15 and 6.30 p.m. by a profile identified as "Maximilian Ghose." The Times reported that among these changes were the inclusion of various membership numbers, some of which belonged to people who had already graduated from the university the year before. The spreadsheet's goal was to confirm that the voters who cast actual ballots matched the data that had been entered and to assure their accuracy. Ghose was the final individual with access to the ballot box, according to Hardy.
“I am seriously worried that there may have been wrongdoing. Either people have been voting after 6pm, with only Max present, or, worse, Max has added votes,” Hardy wrote in his report.
“The suggestion that a sitting president acting as RO might stuff ballots would be seriously detrimental to the Union’s reputation, and the validity of our elections.”
The union has decided to hold the election for the new president next year after conducting an investigation. Ghose, who was elected in March and started in the position in June, has resigned in light of the findings. In the interim, the vice-president will be in charge. Ghose, a second-year political science and international relations student, ran for office on a platform calling for the creation of a union app and an increase in the equalities budget. Initially, he was supposed to serve through November. Nick Davis and Ellie Breeze competed for his job, and Ghose is suspected of assisting Breeze.
“The backdrop of all of this is everyone is hugely ambitious and wants to be union president so they can get an internship with an MP. The people in Westminster grow up in these environments and learn to backstab and in turn the antics in Westminster inspire future wannabe MPs to do a bit of their own backstabbing,” a union insider told The Times.
The Cambridge Union, one of the oldest organisations in the world and a renowned debating society, was founded in 1815. It boasts more than 70,000 lifetime members and has hosted a number of eminent speakers, including the Dalai Lama, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Stephen Hawking.

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