After nearly a week of delays, a breakdown of the vote count from last Thursday’s Associated Students, Inc. presidential election was announced Wednesday. Although Kelly Griggs was announced as next year’s ASI president at the May Mayhem event in the University Union on May 7, the exact breakdown of votes was not released until May 13.
Art and design senior Griggs won the election with 1,807 votes, followed by computer science graduate student Jon McElroy’s 979 and psychology senior Jacob Alvarez’s 907.
Unidentified problems with the off-campus vendor used to collect and count the votes led to the delay in the results, current ASI President Angela Kramer said. According to its Web site, Elexpert is an online voting systems company that has specialized in online student government elections for nearly ten years.
Voter turnout for this year’s election was at approximately 20 percent of the student body, down 7.5 percent from last year. While Kramer said she felt the turnout was “still really good,” Griggs admitted she was “a little disappointed.”
“It’s definitely a trade-off,” Griggs said. “As we’ve seen in politics on a national scale, controversy brings more people to the polls. We, as candidates, decided early on that we were going to try hard not to engage in that kind of thing.”
“Also, I think this election kind of snuck up on everyone,” she said. “I know students are busy. It kind of falls within ASI and it’s their responsibility to get the word out about when the election is so there’s no confusion and things like that.”
Griggs is expected to appoint a chief of staff this weekend. As of Wednesday, 15 candidates had applied for the position. Because she is bound by confidentiality until she makes a decision, Griggs said she could not disclose the names of these candidates, but did say a number of them are “highly qualified.”
“It’s a tough decision,” Griggs said. “The chief of staff position is really important and you really have two main goals for a candidate. First, you have to work well with them personally. They also have to be able to carry out the goals of the president.”
When asked what qualities she was looking for in her chief of staff, Griggs responded, “someone who has a strong personality, is a good listener, who understand what you want to do with the campus, but who can also stand up to you. Also, of course, being very honest and communicative is important.”
According to Griggs, her former fellow candidates may also take part in her administration. “We all had an understanding going into this. Throughout the campaign we wanted to make it fair and honest, and that after the results were in we would all be able to be part of ASI this upcoming year.”
Although the application deadline for ASI chief of staff has already passed, Griggs said that she encourages interested students to consider joining her in student government in other available positions.
“I would definitely recommend students to apply for the executive cabinet,” she said. “Until we get close to filling all positions there is no deadline. This is a great opportunity for students to get involved. There are really important positions but there are also positions to fit their areas of interest.”
Students looking to take part in student government are encouraged to go to the ASI office on the second floor of the University Union.