In Our View: Elections

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In politics we’re told that every vote counts, but the Dixie Sun News staff wonders if that’s still true when voters are uninformed about who they’re voting for.

Even worse still, we wonder whether or not those votes are being obtained in an orthodox fashion. Ethics come into play on any level of politics, but when the politics of the Dixie State University Student Association elections come into question, perhaps the rules of the campaign and election process need to be reevaluated.

We saw good things, like students voting, and we saw strange things, like students voting without knowing what exactly for. The feel of this election was more like a popularity contest than a campus full of adults electing who is going to run our student government for the next year.

These issues are partly due to the fact that DSU students were not properly informed about the elections. Something that could help both voter turnout and help inform voters is time – more time from DSUSA for students to know more about the elections. The elections were short and not advertised in a fashion that every student was able to participate equally.

Voter turnout was decent, but it was approximately one-fourth of the student population.

What about students with online classes? How about those who only frequent one or two buildings on campus? Do they become just as informed as the next student about elections and voting procedures? We need to fix the reach of DSUSA to all students, not just the ones who will wear your T-shirt or put your sticker on their notebook. Two weeks is not enough time to notify voters and get balanced results.

Furthermore, how do voters know who to vote for? Besides the debate that happened after the primary elections already took place, there was no advertised outlet to find out more about each candidate or the position they were running for. It seems a bit pointless to get to know their platforms after we’ve narrowed them down.

There could have been a day set aside for getting to know each person running – booths set up on the diagonal where students could approach each candidate and get to know them and their views. We needed some way other than posters and late debates to get to know our student leaders past the point of seeing their faces on large campaign posters. When we are walking through campus only to unexpectedly have a phone pushed in our direction and asked to vote without knowing what for, our impressions of the candidates and DSUSA are not generally positive or professional. Voting is not evenhanded and people might vote blindly to get out of an awkward situation.

DSUSA expresses the want for open communication with students but they do not communicate well with the majority of the student population when it is key for an impartial election process. Unless a specific demographic is being targeted for votes (which makes it even less impartial), every student on or off campus should be informed of the process to vote and know who they are voting for.