Volume 93, Issue 30

Friday, October 22, 1999


Online votes problematic for election

Market returns to downtown core

Weston's address attacks OSAP fraud

London opts to defer Western's cash request

Government money to form an alliance

Food services rolling in the dough again


Caught on campus


Online votes problematic for election

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

With Board of Governor candidates pounding the pavement in hopes of an appointment, concerns are growing over how successful online voting will be.

Joel Adams, present undergraduate student representative on the Board and candidate for re-election, said he was concerned about the ramifications the poor online voter turnout of the Society of Graduate Students elections would have on the upcoming BOG vote.

Last week, SOGS held an election for their Board positions and the voting was held exclusively online, said SOGS president Susan McDonald.

"The turnout wasn't great," she said, adding only 88 votes were cast by students between the two candidates. She added the entire number of eligible voters was approximately 3,000.

Lorel Cline, associate secretary for the university, said she was concerned over the SOGS election and hoped for better results in the upcoming BOG election.

"We had hoped for a better turnout and we contacted the students in various ways," Cline said. "I'm relying on the [University Students' Council's] Chief Returning Officer to run the [BOG] elections to the same standards we have in the past."

USC CRO Mike Gelfand said although he was concerned over the results of the SOGS election, he remained confident the BOG voting would be a success. "The numbers were low, but it was also the first time elections had been done online," Gelfand said.

He added there have been many ways the upcoming election has been promoted to undergrads, including banners, posters, promotions on CHRW-FM 94.7 and a commercial on TVWestern.

Jeffrey Clayman, a candidate in the Board race and fifth-year honours business administration and law student, said he was disappointed with the lack of promotion done so far for the upcoming election.

"I had hoped it would be run more like the USC presidential election, with more promotion and media coverage, but for whatever reason that didn't happen," Clayman said. "I've talked to over a thousand students and a lot of them didn't even know there were elections."

Neil Kapoor, Board candidate and fourth-year administrative and commercial studies student, said he had not completely lost faith in online voting. "It's hard for voter turnout to get much worse – online voting will go well, but it might take a few years," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999