As voting begins, candidates make final push
On different corners of campus, William Warmke and Taylor Lockwood planned to stand until 2 a.m. this morning, handing out T-shirts and koozies, slogans and warm smiles, inching their way to the end of their campaigns for student body president.
As ballots opened online, the first day of voting in the annual student body elections yielded about 2,200 votes on Monday, according to Elections Rules Committee (ERC) supervisor Karim Hussein.
The elections, which include voting for student body president and vice president, Student Government (SG) senators, an Our Shirt design and two referendum questions will remain open until Thursday at 8 p.m.
I thought campus was pretty dead today, but I still think we got quite a few votes, Hussein said.
Last year, the first day of elections yielded 3,681 votes. Hussein said he hopes to see the numbers continue over the next three days.
The first day of voting went pretty smoothly, Hussein said. Unlike in previous years, no complaints had been filed about technical glitches or difficulties in voting.
SG set up polling sites with iPads and laptops at the Marshall Student Center (MSC), Juniper-Poplar residence halls and Cooper Hall. The sites will be located there today too.
Campaigning is not allowed within 50 yards of polling sites, and Hussein said all 20 ERC staff members and poll workers who are at the sites are trained to spot efforts of campaigning including wearing campaign T-shirts.
When (campaigners) are walking around, were not going to tell them Hey, take your shirt off, in the middle of the school, Hussein said. But if theyre walking in the 50-yard radius wearing a campaign shirt and they stand there for awhile, we kind of tell them to walk through. But if theyre just walking by, we kind of let them. But you cant stand there and passively campaign.
Though not near polling sites, Lockwood and Warmke said they plan to be highly visible during the next few days.
Outreach is the key, especially during times of voting, Warmke said. You gotta be everywhere. Its just about getting out there and showing faith.
Warmke and his running mate Scott Sandoval have been running on a SHINE campaign, emphasizing sustainability, honesty, innovation, networking and equality.
Lockwood said he hopes to meet as many new faces as he can before the campaign ends.
Were going to spend as much time out talking to students as we can because the driving goal behind every campaign is to get to know as many students as possible and try to gain their support, he said. Its really humbling when you think about it. We feel like weve a ton of people just this week and its only Monday. But theres 40,000 students on campus and unfortunately I havent gotten to meet all of them.
Lockwood and his running mate Ben Agosto have been running on a RED campaign, emphasizing rights, experience and dollars.
Warmke said he hopes to see more students vote.
You have to voice your opinion, he said. Often times students will complain but I dont think you should complain unless you voice your opinion and get your voice out through voting.
Results will be announced at 3 p.m. on Friday in the MSC Amphitheater, where a Bulls Radio DJ and free food will be provided.
Additional reporting by Jakki Gomez.