Some graduate students unable to cast accurate vote


Josh Newell/Iowa State Daily

Vice President Cory Kleinheksel speaks Monday during the first meeting of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate in the South Ball Room of the Memorial Union in Ames.

Danielle Ferguson

Some graduate students hoping to cast their vote in the Student Government elections may have run into a glitch leaving them unable to fill their ballot.

Graduate students are supposed to be able to vote for their graduate student senators for the Senate, but this year, not everyone received the correct link to the official ballot.

Student Government is a campuswide governing body for which graduate students can vie for a seat in the Senate. A portion of the ballot should contain a spot in which graduate students can vote for or write in a senator, but the initial ballot sent out did not include that.

GPSS President Zack Zenko said the issue cannot be fixed by sending a general link, as the ballot link is unique.

Chief Information Officer for the Graduate and Professional Student Senate Bharat Agrawal said the cause of the error is unknown and it is unknown how many graduate students are experiencing the error.

Agrawal is working with those in Student Government in charge of elections to resolve the error and send out a correct ballot for graduate students to vote, he said.

If you are a graduate student who received an incorrect ballot or no ballot at all, contact Agrawal at [email protected].

George Weston, graduate student in sociology who is on the ballot for a graduate student senate position, said the same issue occurred last year and said he is frustrated the issue wasn’t resolved this time around.

“It’s frustrating because it feels like voter suppression,” Weston said

With this, he also mentioned the recent discussion of international students not receiving proper representation on Student Government and that the graduate student body is a diverse group. More than 3750 percent of graduate students are international, whereas less than 10 percent of undergraduates are international.

Weston said he thought this issue may lower graduate student voting response rates.

He also said he reached out to his election liaison shortly after 5 a.m. Tuesday to see if he could help resolve the issue and as of Tuesday evening, hadn’t heard a response.