February 27, 2017

SGA election ballots clog under new system

SGA update

By Kyeland Jackson —

Election ballots for students, voting for an unprecedented number of SGA candidates, will issue a day later for some.

SGA Chief of Staff Jacob Abrahamson said the Blue system, also used for course evaluations, sent ballot emails to students slower than anticipated. Abrahmson said SGA extended the election a day, allowing students more time to vote.

SGA expected troubles using the Blue system, a change from traditionally gathering votes on Ulink. Abrahamson said ballots began sending at 6 p.m. Sunday and sent a total of 8,500 by noon Monday. He expects all 19,000 ballots will be sent by 10 a.m. Feb. 28.

“The (SGA election) rules are not tailored to this system,” Abrahamson said, adding the system has never sent so many emails before. The runoff for candidates would still be held on ULink.

Outgoing SGA President Aaron Vance first suggested the Blue system for SGA elections. With an unprecedented number of candidates running and eased access to applications, Abrahamson anticipates higher student involvement than ever. The highest percentage of student voters was 16 percent in 2008, when O.J. Oleka ran against three candidates.

Seven candidates contend for the top spot this year.

“I think this is probably going to be the best turnout we’ve ever had,” Abrahamson said. “I would not be surprised if it was 20 percent or more.”

While the system has problems now, Abrahamson anticipates rules will be adjusted next year to make the process more efficient.

The Cardinal endorsed Vishnu Tirumala as SGA president, citing his experience with governance, student life and politicking. Read candidates’ stance on issues discussed through a survey and SGA debate.

Voting is Feb. 27 – March 3.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *