This year, students will be able to vote for their new Students’ Association officers and representatives without ever leaving their rooms.
Students will be able to cast their ballots for representatives in Congress simply by downloading a new iPhone application. The app will feature biographies of those running for office, as well as a few lines regarding their respective platforms. Those students who do not yet have an iPhone or iPod touch will be able to cast their ballots online.
SA Chief Development Officer Jared Elk, junior political science major from Savoy, said he thinks the new system will benefit the students and SA.
“I think [the new application] works well integrating the university’s Mobile Learning Initiative with some of the stuff the SA does,” Elk said.
SA worked with the iPhone development class to devise this new voting system. In the past, students who wished to vote had to go to the McGlothlin Campus Center and fill out a Scantron form to make their voices heard. Last year, SA saw one of the highest voter turnouts in recent memory – and only around 18 percent of the student body cast a vote.
“Hopefully, we’ll see a lot more voter participation this way,” said SA Vice President Tony Godfrey, junior political science major form Burleson.
The road to Students’ Association officer elections will begin March 23 for most students, although current SA officers are working right now to finalize procedural details.
SA has finished most of the work for the election process, Godfrey said. The election committee still needs to select a co-chair, however, to serve alongside SA President Charles Gaines, who will head the committee for this election season.
Students hoping to be elected to the Students’ Association Congress will need to obtain a petition from the SA office, located downstairs in the Campus Center. Prospective candidates must obtain signatures from at least 10 percent of their constituency to be eligible for entry on the ballot.
Candidate debates will take place April 6 in Moody Coliseum, and students will receive Chapel credit for attending. The online polls will be open April 7-8.