Lafayette Communication May Have Unraveled the Vote

Credit Union Times   October 5, 2007
By David Morrison

KENSINGTON, Md. — Ironically, questions about a communication the Lafayette Federal Credit Union sent to some of its members who worked for the Small Business Administration during November of last year were what revealed the discrepancies in ballot counts that eventually led to the application withdrawal.

According to papers that accounting firm RSM McGladrey provided to the NCUA and that have come to light since, NCUA raised questions about votes that had been received between a Nov. 3 e-mail that the agency questioned and a November 16 "curative" e-mail that the agency asked the CU to send. The investigation into the vote counts for those days revealed that 32 ballots, which were against the conversion, had not been counted, although five of these were found to be repeated ballots which had already been counted, dropping the number of total missing "against" votes to 27.

Twenty-seven votes overcame the 18 vote winning margin by 9 votes, which was later whittled down to six when a further recount changed the total once again by removing 3 votes from the against column.

Since McGladrey could not be certain that similar errors had not taken place on other days during the long vote, the firm advised recounting the entire voting period but the credit union did not allow it to do so.

© 2007, Used with permission from The Credit Union Times. All rights reserved.