Voter turnout rises with fliers, T-shirt help

By Mitchell Spence

About 2,600 students voted in this year’s Student Association executive elections, surpassing the 1,500 who voted last year.

There were 1,750 students who voted Tuesday and 850 who voted Wednesday. Candidates handed out handbills with information about their running mates and platforms and student voters received free T-shirts after casting their ballots, though T-shirts ran out.

Voting took place 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

“I’m really happy that this year turned out great,” said SA elections commissioner Susie Richard. “The voter turnout isn’t really always high.”

Richard said voter turnout was higher this year than in years past because she and other board of election members promoted the election on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Poll worker Ron Lunadon said he was glad to see the increased turnout but said the student body could do better.

“It’s a poor turnout, even though we broke records, with over 20,000 students here learning and only 2,000 voting,” Lunadon said. “A very small group of students take voting serious.”

Freshman nursing major Courtney Crutchfield said it was important to get involved when selecting who SA’s leaders would be, but the overall voter turnout did not reflect that sentiment from students.

“More people should vote. We can’t force it, but more people should vote. I can’t imagine what else they are doing,” Crutchfield said.

Junior biology major Paola Gonzalez said he was unimpressed by the early estimate of 2,000 students voting in the election.

“No — horrible number. It’s not even half the students here,” Gonzalez said.

Staff Writer Carlos Galvez contributed to this report.