Letter to the Editor: Students should register to vote for SGA elections

By on April 14, 2010

A few weeks ago, the Student Government Association held their annual elections on Blackboard.  Two thousand, one hundred forty-eight students, or 37.7 percent of the undergraduate student body logged on and voted during the 20 hours that the polls were open.

How many of that 37.7 percent were actually educated voters?  There were maybe 125 students at the SGA election debates prior to the elections.  So how many students actually voted on an educational vote rather than a popularity vote?  Maybe 350, or 16 percent of those who voted (that’s 6 percent of the total undergraduate student body).  That’s despicable.

In order to vote in the United States elections, citizens must be at least 18 years of age and register to vote.  Even with the prerequisite and requirement, 48 percent of the U.S. population age 18 or older voted.  Of those registering to vote, 71 percent came out to vote at the polls or submitted an absentee ballot.

What if we brought some system to Quinnipiac, similar to the United States elections, where students were required to register to vote prior to the elections?  Students would go on to Blackboard, just like they do on SGA election day to vote, and fill out some basic voter registration sheet—something as simple as first name, last name and student ID number.

By establishing this system, you are bringing the voters to where they would vote on Election Day.  You are leaving the polls open to any student who wishes to vote.  And you are eliminating the roommates who are voting just because one person is friends with a candidate or because the candidate lives in their room.

While there will always be a popularity contest within the elections, having any student wishing to vote register prior to the elections will eliminate a lot of the popularity fashion and make it more of an educated decision by the student body.

When the SGA Election Committee announces the results on Election Day, they could then say that 75 percent of the registered students voted, which sounds a lot better than 38 percent of the students voted.

I strongly urge the Student Government Association and the student body to look into a system as such so that we can have the candidates who will represent us best in office, rather than those with the most friends.

Fellow Chronicle readers, I urge you to send a letter to the editor stating your opinion on this issue.  It would be useful to get other feedback, and to let SGA know how we really feel!

–One of the few educated voters from this year’s election

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