Who’s next? GSB elections begin Tuesday, March 4


Government of the Student Body presidential candidates Khayree Fitten and Hillary Kletscher participate in the presidential debate Feb. 28 in the Cardinal Room of the Memorial Union. 

Emelie Knobloch

Elections for the Government of the Student Body president and vice president begin today. Spencer Hughes, current GSB President, said the number of students on campus who think voting doesn’t matter are simply wrong.

“The voting process is one of the easiest for students everywhere,” Hughes said. “Students simply go to the website, log-in with their Net-ID, select the candidates they wish to vote for and submit their ballot.”

Hughes said the whole process can be completed in less than a minute to make it as easy as possible for all students to vote.

“Most candidates have an information biography next to them, that students can read,” said Adam Guenther, GSB election commissioner.

Voter turnout for the GSB election has been dwindling in the past few years. Hughes said he is confident that they will see an improvement this year.

In 2011, 3,186 students voted in the GSB elections. In 2012, 2,688 students voted. In 2013, 2,427 students voted.

“We have removed many of the campaigning restrictions that handcuffed candidates and prevented them from effectively reaching students,” Hughes said.

Hughes said GSB has also made a stronger attempt to reach students this year than past years through improved public relations initiatives and an expanded use of social media.

“When I was a candidate last year, I got the sense that some students were disillusioned with GSB and didn’t feel as though it had any impact on their lives,” Hughes said.

Hughes said GSB has done a good job of bringing back many of those students.

“I am confident that they will choose to cast a ballot on Tuesday or Wednesday,” Hughes said.

Hughes said he believes that if a student cares about this campus and has ideas about how it can be better, he or she would naturally want to be involved in the selection process.

“This is the only chance students have to vote for the ISU president of the student body and their senators,” Guenther said.

Guenther said voting allows students to have a say in who represents them and what issues GSB will be facing in the upcoming year.

The announcement of the results is Friday, March 7 at 7 p.m. in room 3512 of the Memorial Union. This is over a day after voting is completed.

“Our election results announcement allows us to maximize our accuracy and make sure that there were no serious issues with the voting,” Hughes said.

Hughes said candidates have the opportunity to lodge complaints about election irregularities and potential violations for the election commission to investigate.

“The election commissioner will be gathering the data results from IT services and assembling it for presentation,” Hughes said.

On Friday, the election commission may need to hold a hearing to discuss a potential election violation, which could impact results if one arises.

Once everything is sorted out, GSB will publicly announce the results.

“Unfilled [senate] seats that are not claimed after the elections will be dealt with by the constituency councils of GSB,” Guenther said.

The 2014 GSB elections begin Tuesday, March 4 and end Wednesday March 5. Students may vote online at vote.iastate.edu.