New system for freshman elections

September 23, 2008 — by Annie Lee and Lauren Kuan

This year in the freshman elections, the administration has improved the voting method by handing the responsibility over to the students. Unlike in past elections, freshmen voted during two lunch periods instead of having ballots passed out in class. Although the number of votes was not as great, the new system will provide a more realistic voting experience.

“You have to make an effort if you want to vote,” said assistant principal Karen Hyde. “Nobody comes to your house, your place, or business to ask you to vote for real, so it’s not that far from what happens in the real world.”

Only the students concerned about their officers took the time to vote. It may be argued that the new election system did not provide an accurate representation of the students, but, that was not the case. Since no ballots were passed out to students who were apathetic about the decision, there were significantly fewer students who blindly voted.

“It’s not aberrant, it’s not unfair and it’s what everybody does,” said Hyde.

As an added bonus, this system did not interfere with classes: Teachers no longer needed to drop what they were doing in order to pass out ballots.

“They’re right in the middle of organizing their lives. It’s the third day of class, and to say, ‘now its time to do ballots’…It’s chaos,” said Hyde.

The election procedure was moved up in the year due to the earlier date of Homecoming week, which meant freshman officers had to be
established quickly.

“We needed to get those elections done soon so [the freshmen] could get some kind of leadership in order to move forward,” said Hyde. “It’s a little chaotic because everything was way too early.”

The election committee counted about 150 votes for the preliminary round and 100 votes for the finals out of the 342 students in the freshmen class.

“I think for an experiment that we weren’t sure would work out, the elections went very well,” said senior ASB president Ketaki Shriram.

The administration should be an alternative voting method for future elections. However, this system should not be used for upperclassmen elections because their ability to go off campus for lunch would disrupt the representation of the class.

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