Morgan: election turnout 10%, near last year’s numbers

Turnout in the Student Government Association elections hovered around the same 10.5 percentage range, up only .02 percent from last year.

Last year, there were 1,168 votes for SGA president, 1,005 for vice president and 1,031 votes for secretary.

This year, 1,018 students voted for who would become the SGA president and 911 voted on the vice president candidates.

For the general election of SGA executive positions there were 1,040 votes cast out of the 9,865 students eligible for voting.

The online voting system which students can access through myGate is VoteNet. This is the second year the University has used VoteNet for the online SGA elections.

Jeanie Morgan, coordinator for student activities, said she always thinks there is room for improvement with student involvement with the elections.

“I am here to make their SGA experience a positive one for the students and the student body,” Morgan said. “I think it is very important for students to be involved with the elections, and I wish more students would vote.”

She said nursing students would vote next week.

The voting for School of Nursing senators will begin April 26 at 9 a.m. and will end on April 30 at 9 a.m. Students can vote for the senators via myGate, the same way they voted for SGA officers.

She said when students decided to establish two senator positions for the School of Nursing, they had to be removed from Human and Health Service.

“A lot of the nursing students were not removed and put into the School of Nursing database,” Morgan said. “It won’t let them vote, so they will have elections for their senators next week.”

Out of the seven academic colleges, six were able to vote for senators to represent them. The College of Agriculture had the most people vote for their senators, with 166 voting out of a possible 743. The College of Education had the least participation with only 79 people voting.

At the University of Kentucky, they had 17% voter turnout for their spring SGA elections. J. Todd Cox, assistant director of student involvement said out of 28,094 students, only 4,732 voted.

Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, said he is hopeful there will be good voter turnout.

“You always hate when people don’t take advantage of their right to vote, you would hope people would want to be involved in electing their representatives,” Robertson said. “You have three good candidates and I do know they are actively going out and meeting with groups on campus.

He said he thinks they have worked hard and deserve to have a good voter turnout.

President Randy Dunn said the role of SGA president is huge and there is a lot at stake with the elections.

He said he would like to see more from SGA, and he hopes the elections will produce good student advocates.

“I think we have the potential here to do more,” Dunn said. “We have capacity to take on some things here through SGA, but we need student votes.”