Student Government Association is changing the election process for the upcoming elections, with students doing their online polling in a new place.
Students will now vote through OrgSync instead of going to elections.ou.edu, election chairperson Abbey Taylor said.
"You’ll still enter your 4x4 and your password, and your ballot will appear with which districts you’re eligible to vote in. So, freshman will vote for the University College, and everyone will vote for SGA president. And if you’re in IFC, you’ll vote for IFC President,” Taylor said.
With an online voting process, there might be some skepticism on the fairness of the election. Taylor wants to ensure that the confidentiality of students’ votes are completely secure, she said.
“I won’t get to see the live voting because we didn’t think that’d be very fair," Taylor said. "I don’t think that’s fair for me to see your specific votes, so they will take me out of that. And once voting closes, George, our adviser, will give me a list of the results, and we’ll verify it all,” Taylor said.
There will still be physical places for students to vote. The polling site locations have not been determined, but Taylor said SGA wants to mirror what it did last year during elections.
“We’re thinking about doing three," Taylor said. "We haven’t decided where they’re going to be yet. We’re actually deciding that this week. Last year, we held the polling in the Bookmark Café in the library, Union and the cafeteria. So, we’re going to do three, maybe four. We haven’t decided yet,” Taylor said.
Historically, voter turnout hasn’t been very large, Taylor said.
“Turnout has been very low, like single-digits low," Taylor said. "For the CAC elections last year, it was in double digits, because it was contested. So, that’s the thing I’m most focused on is making sure we have as many contested elections as possible, because that does publicity for us. The more people that run, the more they’ll PR themselves, the more they’ll PR elections themselves and voting themselves. That’ll create a more diverse voting population and candidacy pool,” Taylor said.
"We want a more diverse turnout than it strictly being SGA members," Taylor said.
The current executive cabinet members of SGA are excited for having a contested election as well because of the lack of voter turnout in previous elections.
“We’re really excited to see all of the candidates," SGA President Alex Byron said. "So far we’ve heard there are several tickets running. I think the most important thing about the democratic process is having that dialogue and having contrasting opinions because it promotes a conversation about how we can do things better. One of the most important things about the student government is constant reevaluation of what we can do and what we can do better.”
Byron and Vice President Avery Marczewski will not be running in this year’s election due to their graduation in the spring. However, they said they hope to carry over the initiatives they’ve started to work on with mental health resource awareness and diversity.
“Alex and I are having a meeting with the candidates an hour before Abbey speaks with them," Marczewski said. We will be discussing the initiatives we’ve accomplished and initiatives we’ve looked into and also initiives we hope to carry over into their next term.”