In the run up to the Oxford Union elections today, the official photos and manifestos of multiple candidates have been defaced.
The photos, located on the Union’s noticeboard near the reception and library, were repeatedly vandalised, with pen marks seen on the candidates’ faces. The photos were replaced multiple times, only to be spoiled again. The identities of the perpetrators are presently unknown.
The persistence of the defacement led to Returning Officer Joshua Atkinson issuing a clarification of the rules regarding electoral conduct, confirming that the defacement was an offense.
The notice, posted alongside the manifestos, read, “Following a series of defacements of Officers’ photographs and manifestos displayed on the noticeboard throughout term, I hereby clarify that this is an offence under rule 33 (a) i) 8, due to it being electoral material posted by the Returning Officer, regardless of if this Officer is re-running in subsequent elections.”
Both presidential candidates, Mayank Banerjee and Crawford Jamieson, explicitly state in their manifestos their intention to tackle the controversial politics of the Union.
As per the rules of electoral conduct, no candidates running for positions at the Union may speak to the press about electoral matters unless mandated by the President.
Polls close at 8.30 tonight.