Poor Planning, Apathy Drowns Election

It’s a common complaint about voting in today’s world that an individual’s voice is often lost in the clamor of the masses. However, in the recent Student Government elections held at UT, such was the absolute lack of voter turnout that a mere twenty individuals could have had a major impact on each of the races. All totaled, three hundred and fifty-two people chose to participate in the elections through voting, or roughly eight percent of the student body. It’s anyone’s guess as to why the election turnout this year was so abysmally low. When asked about the election, members of the Student Government Executive Board were unable to come to a conclusive reason for the lack of student voters, hinting at a conflict in perspectives on what actually sealed the fate of the elections, even at the highest levels of SG. “I think we would have had more of a turnout if it was still on Blackboard like it was last year,” said SG Secretary Miranda Peterson. “Just having a table wasn’t the most convenient for a lot of people.” Indeed, perhaps the fault lies with SG for failing to recognize the inability of students to brave the debilitating cold February air as they cross the courtyard on the way to the Vaughn Center to vote, rather than doing so from the relative safety of their dorm rooms. Yet at the same time, the Executive Board cited issues with the IT department of UT as the main cause for the lack of a Blackboard voting option. Unfortunately, due to short notice, the IT department was unable to return a comment or statement regarding the status of their relationship or any hiccups that may have occurred in getting the voting process online. At the other end of the spectrum lies the possibility that fault does indeed rest with the Student Government itself. Heather Dooley, Director of Special Events, presented a simple explanation. “We don’t traditionally get a great turnout.” While this may be true, as most elections in the past have had turnouts of around twenty four or twenty six percent, it still doesn’t answer the question of why there was such a huge drop between this year and last year. It’s quite clear that there is any number of explanations for the appalling turnout for the elections this year. When asked about her own feelings about the election and turnout, Jill Jardas managed to capture the attitude on campus towards such elections. “No comment.”

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: