SA election turnout falls again

By Lauren Cliffe

At least 720 students voted in the Student Association Senate elections on Tuesday and Wednesday, a slightly smaller turnout than last fall’s 750.

Joe Palmer, SA Public Affairs director, said the SA will receive an official number for turnout by today. Palmer said the estimated figure was “in line with the past” SA Senate elections. According to a Sept. 26 Northern Star article, 750 students voted in the 2013 SA Senate fall election, 675 in 2012 and 937 in 2011.

Of the 42 candidates who were on this year’s ballot, 29 were selected to fill Senate seats. Of the eight candidates who ran under the Huskies United group, two made the SA Senate roster.

Barney Schroeder, an election judge stationed at DuSable Hall on Tuesday, said the voting area was “exceptionally busy” due to the high traffic flow through the area during the day.

“We have 368 at this point, so I think that’s pretty good,” said Schroeder, who added that more signs in the area surrounding the polling station could have increased voter turnout even further.

Schroeder said most students that chose not to vote did so because of lack of information on candidates.

“That was their concern, that they didn’t know anybody,” Schroeder said.

Jokari Miller, graduate engineering technology and industrial management students, said he did not know very much about the senator candidates, but he voted anyway, even writing in his own name for a position.

“It’s hard because you don’t really have a history to go off of,” Miller said. “It’s not like you get a booklet or something showing you each person with their name and their face and their bio.”

Miller said the SA senator requirement of being a full-time student was ridiculous.

“To do SA right … it’s time-consuming,” Miller said. “Its ridiculous to tell [a part-time student] ‘You cannot be a part of SA,’ when that’s the person that would probably have the time to actually devote to it.”

The Senate will hold its first meeting 6 p.m. Sunday in the Holmes Student Center, Sky Room.