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UISG voting polls now open on ISIS

BY MICHELE DANNO | APRIL 13, 2009 7:40 AM

With polls opening early this morning, students can now vote for their chosen UI Student Government party.

All UI undergraduate students are able to cast their votes on ISIS until 5 p.m. Tuesday. The three parties — Go Party, L Party, and Your Party — have each had since March 30 to reach as many students as possible.

L Party presidential candidate Ryan Kopf said his party has gone beyond traditional campaign tactics of handing out T-shirts and hanging out downtown.

“We have gone a little further in our campaign by calling and e-mailing students,” he said. “I think this year, we might see an increase in the number of students voting because we have been using different methods.”

Your Party and Go Party presidential candidates Emily Grieves and Mike Currie said they also hope voter turnout increases this year. Last year, undergraduate voting reached an all-time high when 32.5 percent of students voted in the election. The number was up from 2007, when 29.8 percent of students cast a vote.

Currie said he thinks voting should increase even more this year because of the campaigns’ efforts to reach more students.

“I think numbers will be higher than last year because I feel like our campaigns are broader than last year,” he said. “We want to use personal contact with students to get more participation. I think our campaigning this year is pretty comparable with the party I ran with last year — the VIP Party.”

Grieves said she hopes the recent presidential election, which got more people involved in the political process, will inspire more students to vote in the UISG election.

She doesn’t consider the low participation of past elections discouraging, she said.

“I don’t think it’s discouraging because that’s basically a lot of what we’re running on, that students aren’t getting involved, and they don’t think student government has an effect on their daily lives,” she said. “I think it’s a problem that we recognize and we would like to change.”

Many students said they aren’t voting because of their limited knowledge about student government.

UI junior Jazmyn Whitman took this position, saying she doesn’t think UISG accomplishes much.

“I am not planning on voting because I don’t know anything about the student government, and I don’t really see that many things changing,” she said. “I think if they made more of an impact, it would raise awareness to what the student government is actually doing. As far as I’m concerned, nothing has really been happening.”

But other students said they feel it is their duty to vote.

UI sophomore Melanie Corpe said she voted last year and is going to again.

“I plan on voting because this is something that can directly affect the university and all the students,” she said.

Results are scheduled to come in Tuesday night with a process of instant runoff voting. On the ballot, students will select their first and second choices. The party to receive the least number of first-choice votes will be eliminated and the second-choice votes from those ballots will be put toward the two remaining competitors.


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