SA senate election sees decline in voter turnout

By Felix Sarver

Voter turnout for this year’s Student Association Senate election fell from last year, continuing a steady decrease since 2009.

The race concluded last night with 937 votes counted. Forty students were elected, which constitutes a full Senate.

In 2010, 1,043 students voted; 1,226 voted in 2009.

“I was surprised by the voter turnout considering how many candidates were running,” said Senate Speaker Austin Quick. “I think the problem might have been candidates not campaigning a great deal.”

Despite the low turnout, this is the first time in years that the Senate has all seats filled, said Kyle Bak, Board of Elections chairman. Thirty-eight students were elected in 2010 and 32 were elected in 2009.

“I’m excited this is the first time in years we have a full Senate,” Quick said. “Even with a low voter turnout, we have 40 members able to work on issues that affect the campus.”

Some issues facing the senate include reducing the number of teacher assistants in classrooms and the perceived violence problem on campus, Quick said.

Gregory Keith received 223 votes for District 1, the most votes of any candidate.

“If I had to pick any surprises, it was the person with 233 votes in District 1,” Bak said. “He had the most in all the districts.”

Paul Julion received the most votes in District 2 with 133 . In District 3, Sanoyin A. Okesanjo received the most votes with 156 . In District 4, Deldric Henderson, a former SA director, received the most votes with 172.

“District 4 is the most competitive,” Bak said. “The person who won that did really well.”

Steven Ray Vaughn, former SA Chief of Staff, received the most votes in District 5, with 113.

“Every single district was contested,” Bak said. “We had more than eight people running in each district, so that’s really good … everyone did earn their spot.”

Election judges said they were ecstatic about the elections and said student feedback was good, Bak said. The election judges are looking forward to working next year, Bak said.

The first Senate meeting is Sunday in the Sky Room of the Holmes Student Center. At 4 p.m., Senators will meet for orientation, and the meeting will begin at 6 p.m.