STAFF EDITORIAL: LUCC elections both convenient and well-organized

The LUCC’s Polling and Elections Committee, chaired by Peter Snyder, conducted a fair—and, above all, convenient—election. It was easier than ever to find a polling place this year, and turnout results show a marked improvement, nearly doubling from last year. Fair enough, the “instant run-off” mechanism for the Vice-Presidential election did not go exactly to plan, as some voters were confused by it, or simply did not care to take the time to vote for a second choice and third choice.

But those who grumble about the Vice Presidential run-off that concluded at lunch today at Lucinda’s should take a moment also to acknowledge the new–and very successful–technology used in this election to allow voting at more than one location concurrently.

Workers brought laptops to each election site Monday and communicated with each other to avoid double voting. In past years, the election would have to be conducted in one place per time of day–i.e., one afternoon at the Con, one evening at Downer, one morning at New Science Hall.

However, having two days at Downer—not to mention voting stickers—helped make voting convenient and inevitably nearby.

PEL’s presence at Downer last weekend was very noticeable, and the workers conducted themselves with enthusiasm and professionalism.

Late Monday night, only hours after voting ended, the PEL delivered a clearly written, impeccably-noted document replete with facts and figures that would allow the LUCC to be fully informed for Tuesday’s meeting, and to give potential contesters of the election the fairest chance possible.

A second round of VP elections were underway Wednesday. Connors and Kuehl were close; Connors led by only five percent of legal ballots. A direct choice between them ought to be offered.

The “instant run-off” system was a bit confusing, especially when most voting was done “in transit” (either to/from Downer or a class), and thus voters were in a hurry.

For future elections, perhaps the PEL should explore ways to make the instant run-off system more obvious, without scrapping the speediness of this year’s voting. While the system is all well and good in theory, even the LUCC body at large had a fair amount of confusion when the process was explained to them.

But the run-off, while inconvenient, is evidence of a fair election, and a leadership committed to conducting elections the right way. The PEL ought to be proud of their quickness and turnout numbers.

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