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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Student Government

Election disconnections

Technical difficulties and confusion on the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences ballot could mean rocky results for candidates.

Most students like computer information systems junior Cody Kraushaar had no issues voting.  |  Nichole Taylor/The Daily Cougar

Most students like computer information systems junior Cody Kraushaar had no issues voting. | Nichole Taylor/The Daily Cougar

The polls opened at 9 a.m Tuesday, and students were ready to submit their ballots to decide who would represent them in the 50th Student Government Association administration.

The ballot instructions did not inform students enrolled in CLASS that they are allowed to vote for up to eight senate candidates to represent their college in SGA.

There are 13 candidates running for a position in CLASS.

Outside of the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library, campaigners offered students their last spiel before heading to the polls. Many of them were also trying to inform students of the error.

University Center voters were not as well informed.

“This is my first time voting, and everything went smooth and was easy,” said computer science sophomore Christian Pesantes, “but no one told me about the potential issues with the ballot before voting.”

SGA is working to get the problem solved quickly and will be posting signs about it.

Said Jalajal, the Chief Election Commissioner, said although the problem exists, the top eight candidates would still be awarded the positions. If the eight seats are not filled, either the president will appoint students for the positions or a run-off election will take place.

Voters also experienced difficulties with the Internet at the polls.

“The issue that we’ve been running into is that because the ballots have to be secured for certain IP addresses only out of the polling locations, we’ve had problems with connectivity and people being able to log in,” said Jalajal, a computer informations sophomore.

“Because of the time constraints that we’ve been given, I don’t know why we’re running into all of these issues.”

The team tried to keep up with voters who were turned down because of technological difficulties, Jalajal said.

“We’re working diligently right now. I’ve been talking to Hunter Daniels, who is charge of doing our ballot, and we’ve been taking down students’ information so we can contact them back as soon as we hear about what’s being done,” Jajajal said.   

The voting should be fixed for Wednesday, said Jajajal, which is the last day for students to cast their vote.

Ballots are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Locations include the University Center, University Center Satellite, M.D. Anderson Memorial Library, Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, the Moores School of Music and the Science and Engineering Research Center.

Results will be announced at 5 p.m. Thursday in front of the UC.

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