University of Colorado Student Government spring elections are over with the highest voter turnout ever and CUSG is preparing for next semester.
CUSG Public Relations Director Kristy Gustavson said the election was a great success as far as student turn out. There were over 10,000 votes accounting for over 30 percent of the student body.
“To my knowledge, this has never been done before,” Gustavson said. “Dani Warly, the election commissioner and John Michael Tomczak, Assistant Election Commissioner, as well as the Buff Up The Rec group did a lot of hard work for this election and it paid off.”
The Buff Up the Rec referendum passed 7,334 to 2,873 votes.
Danielle Warly, a 20-year-old junior and international affairs major and election commissioner for CUSG, said the election brought in 10,407 voters.
“This voter turnout is really incredible,” Warly said. “We’re so thrilled to have so many students participating in our democratic process and getting involved and giving their voice for who should be the student government leaders for the upcoming academic year.”
Steven Pauken, a 20-year-old sophomore and finance major, said he voted in the elections after being hassled by students on campus.
“I want to say it’s not a good way to get people to vote, but then at the same time I don’t know any better way,” Pauken said. “I probably wouldn’t have done it if they didn’t keep harassing me, but it is good to vote so I think I’ll vote next year.”
Scott Taylor, a 18-year-old freshman and aerospace-engineer major, said he voted in the CUSG elections to see if it actually mattered.
“I voted to see if I could make an influence on the school,” Taylor said.
Taylor said he was not persuaded by pressuring students on campus, but rather just from his own desire to vote online.
Some students said they still were not convinced to vote after being encouraged by many CUSG affiliates around campus.
Stephanie Cosca, a 19-year-old sophomore and anthropology major, said she did not vote in the elections because she did not have the time to learn more about the candidates.
“I’ve been too busy to research it and I have other things I prioritize first,” Cosca said. “I probably won’t vote next year either because I don’t really think it affects me that much.”
The winners’ term doesn’t officially begin until this academic year ends. Gustavson said the first job of the new CUSG members is to hire an executive staff.
“As far as what’s next for CUSG, we will finish out the rest of the year as planned and in May, the new Executives and Legislative members will take their places,” Gustavson said. “The Executives will hire their executive staff and their term will begin.”
Though the results are not official, members of INVEST appear to make up the majority of the winners.
Before the results can officially be posted to the public, the election commission must go through a process of confirming votes and adhering to any complaints.
“We take formal complaints through our online system on the CUSG website,” Warly said. “We ask that those are traced back to an immediate violation of the election code for the election commission to examine and to determine if there are infraction points which we must give for election code violations.”
Once the complaints are filed the election commission sends out an email for all of the students who filed formal complaints to let them know the procedure for the hearing process.
Warly said the deadline to file formal complaints was Tuesday at noon and the hearings were Wednesday and Thursday night of this week. The hearings were closed to the media and included only those who filed the complaints and those against whom the complaints were filed.
“Then the election commission in addition to Nathan Cook, who’s a finance board chair, listens to each case and comes to a conclusion on their worthiness,” Warly said. “Then we will make an announcement which will be posted on the CUSG election website, showing any infraction points that are allocated.”
Warly said if anyone disagrees with the election commission’s point allocation, they can appeal it to court in which case the deadline will be April 28.
If no such appeal is filed, the election results will be final Tuesday at noon.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Carli Auran at Carli.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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