Online student voting process updated in time for MSA and GAPSA elections

Candidates have also improved their campaign tactics and efforts to receive votes.

Last year, during the student government elections, online voting snafus almost resulted in a recount of the votes.

The problems included students not being able to log in and votes not registering correctly.

on the web

The MSA and GAPSA elections begin on Monday at 8 a.m. and last until 8 p.m. Wednesday. Voting is done electronicially at this Web site: www.acecvote.umn.edu/.

When online voting begins at 8 a.m. Monday for the Minnesota Student Association and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly All-Campus Elections, Ed Kim, student activities advisor, said he expects the process to go off without a hitch.

By working with the Academic and Distributed Computing Services, Kim said, the All Campus Election Commission has sped up the system and will now be sending out confirmation e-mails to all students to ensure that their vote was properly recorded.

MSA presidential candidate Mark Lewandowski and running mate Alicia Smith said they have the fear of a repeat in the back of their minds.

“We saw what happened last year and we certainly hope that when students vote they are able to vote easily without any hang-ups,” Lewandowski said. “Hopefully everything will go smoothly.”

Voting will last until 8 p.m. Wednesday and Get Out The Vote rallies will be held on all three campuses throughout the three days. University Senate and the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group will also be on the ballot.

To help entice voters, the All-Campus Election Commission will also hand out Mesa Pizza at the rallies.

Kim said the candidates will definitely have to work to get the word out about the elections.

“Getting out to the campus community is the responsibility of the candidates,” he said. “They can go to public forums, attend meetings or simply introduce themselves to student groups.”

Last year, both the MSA and GAPSA voter turnout numbers were in the single percentages. MSA elections generated 9.8 percent of the 25,389 students who were eligible to vote and GAPSA generated 4.12 percent of their 14,208 eligible students.

Psychology junior Ami Wazlawik didn’t vote in the elections last year and said she doubts she will vote this year either.

“I don’t really care,” she said. “It’s a good idea, but I’m not sure if it makes a difference.”

The MSA and GAPSA candidates have been hard at work campaigning to the student body and getting them excited to vote.

MSA and GAPSA candidates shared their strategies for increasing voter turnout.

Presidential candidate Mark Nagel and his running mate Trisha Thompson have been getting their name out any way they can, Nagel said.

“We’re encouraging anyone we see to vote,” he said. “We’re hoping that students will read our chalking.”

Lewandowski and Smith said the best way to get students out to vote is just to talk with them.

“Talking to people individually and really being concerned about what they’re saying and taking it seriously,” Smith said. “That’s the way to get people motivated and to get people to vote. Look them in the eye and actually talk about their concerns.”

Nagel and Thompson said they have high hopes for voting returns of the student body.

“I feel like the word ‘vote’ being on the sidewalk has people paying more attention than they normally would,” Thompson said.

Kinesiology sophomore Danielle Benson said voting in the elections is important, but candidates need to be more visible.

“I think I’ve seen something written on the sidewalk,” she said. “It just doesn’t bring me in to do it.”

GAPSA presidential candidates Kristi Kremers and James Faghmous said they’re both optimistic about student turnout.

Kremers said the best way to get the students out to vote is through the Internet because of their busy schedules.

“I think the key is through the Web,” she said. “It’s so much easier to send an e-mail and to get people to click on that link right in their inbox rather than handing out cards or fliers.”