ASEWU special election falls short of voter turnout requirement

By Brandon Cline, Editor in Chief

For the second consecutive year, an ASEWU special election did not meet the voter turnout threshold needed to enact changes to the ASEWU Constitution.

Of the 10,566 EWU students who are eligible to vote, just 304 (2.88 percent) students voted in the special election. All three measures easily cleared the two-thirds majority needed to pass, but the 2.88 percent voter turnout level was well below the 10 percent needed for constitutional amendments to be enacted, as mandated by Article VIII, Section I of the ASEWU Constitution.

“While I’m disappointed about the turnout, I believe we found out what worked and what didn’t work, and this will help us improve voter turnout for the general election,” ASEWU Director of Elections Justin McBride  said in a press release.

It will now be up to the ASEWU Council to determine whether the measures will appear on the general election ballot in the spring, which McBride previously said is what he imagined the council would try and do. After just 1.53 percent of students voted in the 2017 special election, the council voted to put the measures on that year’s general election. However, voter turnout in that election was 7.91 percent, meaning the amendments still weren’t able to be adopted.

The first measure on the ballot would change the primary and general election schedule, allowing EWU’s semester students to participate in elections before their term ends. The second measure pertains to changing the title of the “Director of Finance” to “Finance Vice President,” which would put the title more in line with the rest of the executive branch. The final measure on the ballot would add a dissolution statement to the ASEWU Constitution. ASEWU has no plans to dissolve, but adding a dissolution statement would allow EWU clubs and organizations to apply for a gambling license and allow them to fundraise with raffle tickets.