Universities around the country are attempting to increase voter turnout for student government elections by moving the polls online-and it’s working. According to an article in last week’s The Chronicle of Higher Education, many of the institutions that have their elections online have now seen an increase in student participation in the voting process.
The listed results all seem to indicate a dramatic change in involvement, sometimes more than doubling the voter turnout.
Adopting a similar system could benefit Lawrence in several ways. Not only could the system increase turnout for student elections, therefore increasing student input, but it would also make the tabulation and release of the results easier.
Along the same lines, by increasing student input, online voting would make sure that the people selected more accuratly represent the needs of more of the campus.
It could also change the process of campaigning around campus. Potential student representatives may have to work harder at spreading their message to make certain that they reached the larger percentage of students.
There are other advantages to online voting. Once such advantage could be quickly getting results after an election. With an online voting system and current LUCC web page, students could learn the results of the polls through a simple e-mail as soon as the results were confirmed.
And if, as we recently saw, a run-off were required, the process would be far less time-consuming if it could be conducted online.
It would be more convenient it to log on to the network from the comfort of your own room or lab to cast your vote. And it makes the walk over to Downer to vote just a little less appealing.