Today’s U elections seek more voters

Elections organizers will have rallies today and Wednesday with food and laptops for voting.

JP Leider

Despite last year’s low voter turnout, members of the All-Campus Elections Commission said they are hopeful.

Last year 3,839 students voted in the all-campus elections, down nearly 800 students from the year before.

This year 27,016 undergraduates are eligible to vote in the Minnesota Student Association election.

Students interested in selecting next year’s student-leaders can vote online at www.acecvote.umn.edu.

The polls close at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

To “get out the vote,” All-Campus Elections Commission will have rallies today and Wednesday with free food and laptops with which students can vote on site.

All-Campus Elections Commission and MSA adviser Margaret Cahill said she expects better turnout than last year, which she referred to as a “down year.”

“Each year, it’s about the candidates getting out there, and whether students are interested in what’s going on,” she said. “Last year we had a very smooth campaign (season), but this year’s candidates are really getting out there.”

This year 26 students have filed for 16 at-large representative positions on MSA.

Two tickets filed for MSA president/vice president: Anthony Dew/Jeff Tate and Max Page/Monica Heth.

Page said his campaign is set up for today and Wednesday.

“The song is written; we just have to press play,” he said. “We’re going to hope for the best and work as hard as we can. Everything seems to be in place, so we’re feeling good.”

He is running with Heth on a platform of fees reform, addressing textbook costs and fighting tuition increases.

Page said his campaign has a “pretty comprehensive plan” to turn out the vote, including meet-and-greets for commuters in the Huron lots, offering the use of laptops for voting in the mall area and door-knocking.

Dew said his campaign members are “really excited about these next two days.”

“The people that are helping out with the campaign feel very strongly about these issues,” he said. “We’re using that as our motivation for the next couple of days.”

Dew said that when candidates knock on doors they often have to explain the issues to students.

“For a lot of people you have to prime them on what issues are important,” he said. “A lot of people in the dorms don’t know that when they go out and rent next year they could get taken advantage of by their landlord.”

Dew is running with Tate on a platform of creating safer and more affordable housing, offering cheaper transportation options and creating a “more cohesive campus.”

Students looking for more election and candidate information can visit a special section devoted to the MSA election at the Daily’s Web site, www.mndaily.com.

Student Senate elections

In addition to the MSA election, the Student Senate also utilizes all-campus elections to elect its senators.

The Student Senate is the student component of the University Senate, which deals mainly with policy at the University.

This year 12 students filed for 20 available positions on student senate in the all-campus elections.

No students filed to represent the College of Biological Sciences, the College of Continuing Education or the College of Education and Human Development.

Because of low application numbers, write-in candidates could play a large role in student senate elections, which also are today and Wednesday.

Rick Orr, Student Senate vice chairman, said MSA’s focus this year has been detrimental to the Student Senate.

“With the culture of MSA being so focused on things that are off campus and don’t pertain to students on campus, it hurts senate because we don’t have anything to do with that,” he said.

Student Senate focuses mainly on on-campus policy issues, Orr said.

Both the Student Senate and the college boards are responsible for getting students interested in student senate, he said, and need to take a more active role.