Lack of ads draws small turnout

By Mark McGowan

Low voter turnout in the Student Association Senate election has been attributed to a lack of advertising by the SA.

“It hasn’t been crowded,” said Ray Callahan, SA election adviser. Callahan said about 400 people voted Wednesday and estimated a total voter turnout near 1,000 people.

SA Vice President Steve Coloia explained the SA was unable to advertise in The Northern Star due to an outstanding bill with the Star. He said this prevented from advertising for two weeks.

“The Star is our main way to the mass,” Coloia said. “We had to advertise by word of mouth.”

Callahan added that new districting policies might have affected voting. “(The results) will look smaller,” he said. “It’ll be hard to get more votes.” The SA increased the number of election districts from two to five this year.

William Bowes, a volunteer poll worker, said voting has been “terrible…very bad.” Bowes said the low turnouts are due to a lack of advertising and “apathy of the campus.”

“(Students) don’t know about (the election.) They don’t understand what’s going on,” he said.

Poll worker Wayne Christ, who was processing voters at Founders Memorial Library, estimated about five or six people were voting an hour.

“It’s winding down by now (Thursday afternoon),” said George Walden, another poll worker. “Everyone either voted yesterday or earlier this morning.”

There had been a steady flow, Walden said. Other poll workers at his table in DuSable said about 18 people had voted between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Students around campus voiced concern about being uninformed and not having enough time to find out about the election. One student said she did not vote because “they (SA senators) didn’t get much done last year. I’m really not interested, but I feel I should be concerned.”

Another student said he had not voted because he hadn’t seen anything. “I don’t even know where they’re (the voting tables) at.”

Regarding the time problem, Callahan said candidates had a week to campaign. “Many of the candidates didn’t take advantage of the time until the last couple days. I gave them more time. It’s their job to campaign, not mine.”

Coloia added that the SA needs to convene soon. “I’ve got about 100 recognitions (for organizations) on my desk. They can’t get going until the SA recognizes them. We can’t wait any longer.”