The Editorial Board hopes for comparable increase in voter turnout
This past week, 32 people qualified as candidates for the upcoming 2018 ASUCD Winter Elections for various student government positions. This is a stark contrast to the 2017 Fall Elections, when six senatorial candidates ran unopposed. Four executive tickets and 24 senatorial candidates will be participating in the winter elections.
The Editorial Board commends the Elections Committee and all those who were involved in raising awareness for the Winter Elections, which are just over two weeks away. The increase in candidates seeking elected office is a reflection of a serious issue being addressed within the association. The problem is far from solved, but it’s a step in the right direction.
A year ago, 2,545 voters turned out for 10 Senate candidates during the 2017 Winter Elections. In Fall 2017, 1,289 people voted. With the larger selection of candidates, the Editorial Board hopes to see a significant increase in voter turnout.
The Elections Committee and ASUCD as a whole must not lose this momentum. They must utilize a high candidate turnout to garner more student involvement and voter participation.
Beyond good intentions, there was little incentive to reach out to the diverse communities on campus and listen to the students during the uncontested 2017 Fall Elections.
The Editorial Board hopes the sheer nature of competition will force candidates to develop their platforms by thoroughly considering what the student body values and then translating those values into realistic platforms. Votes will matter in this election, more than in the last one.
This round of candidates has the expected batch of political science and economics majors. The Elections Committee should next strive for an even distribution of candidates from the four colleges. Although it may seem the natural inclination of social science majors to gravitate toward student government, it does a disservice to the rest of the student body, a majority of which does not fall under the social sciences.
We need an informed student body that’s aware of what ASUCD has to offer. Even more importantly, we need an ASUCD that’s aware of all the diverse needs of our student body. The responsibility falls to both parties to communicate openly with one another.
For now, the best way to do that is to vote in the upcoming elections. Speak with the candidates and learn about their platforms, keeping in mind what’s important for the student body. Challenge them. Make them earn your votes.
We encourage you to vote in the 2018 Winter Elections, which will be held from Feb. 20 to 23.
Written by: The Editorial Board