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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Staff Ed: In-class voting preferred over online

School elections this year no longer mean a small slip of paper with names to circle or check. While the recent transition from in-class to online elections was expected to flow smoothly, the school experienced numerous unexpected problems in voter turnout and alleged hacking.

If the school devoted two tutorials in the school year exclusively to class elections and ASB elections, voter turnout and awareness of the candidates would be greatly boosted.

Candidates would be given the opportunity to give brief speeches at the McAfee Cenbter, and afterwards students would be given ballots in class for voting. Although class time would have to be sacrificed toward this end, it seems a small price to pay for a vastly improved election system.

After all, the ASB comprises a fundamental organization in the school hierarchy. Its leaders are tasked with important responsibilities, and it is accordingly vital for these leaders to have the support of the majority of the student body. By allowing this democratic validation of leaders to be relegated to the bottom of the academic agenda, the election commission and administrators who are involved in the election process are in turn condoning the compromise of the integrity of the election process.

The problem with having elections online or even in the quad is that they greatly minimize voter turnout. While some may argue that this allows only the students who truly care vote in such elections, the fact remains that they do not always accurately reflect the views of the student body and they often become competitions over how many people a candidate can get to the polls or to a website. With so many other activities and events that consume students’ lives, many students simply cannot find the time to participate in an election outside of class time.

By giving candidates the time to address the school on the pertinent issues and then having the school vote, the elections will become more about a candidate’s platform and less about name recognition.

Moreover, there is a reason our local governments do not implement an online election system—it is fraught with complications. Without adequate security, the system can be exposed to fraud. In addition, it allows candidates to carry mobile polling stations with them to gather votes.

It is essential for the school elections to prepare students for the real-world by mimicking legitimate government elections. Only then will students realize the importance of electing the most qualified government officials into office.

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