ASEWU primaries see improved turnout, general elections up next

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ASEWU primaries see improved turnout, general elections up next

ASEWU candidates take part in a debate. The ASEWU general elections take place April 23-25.

ASEWU candidates take part in a debate. The ASEWU general elections take place April 23-25.

Bailey Monteith

ASEWU candidates take part in a debate. The ASEWU general elections take place April 23-25.

Bailey Monteith

Bailey Monteith

ASEWU candidates take part in a debate. The ASEWU general elections take place April 23-25.

By Jeremy Burnham, Managing Editor

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Earlier this month 1,001 students, or 10.24% of the students eligible to vote, took to the polls for the ASEWU primary elections. Voting for the general elections is from April 23-25.

While the primary figure may seem low, it is actually a sizable improvement over a year ago when 6% of voters turned out.

“Part of the reason (for the improved turnout) is a new constitutional change that made the elections a three-day process,” said Brian Moore, ASEWU’s director of elections. “We were happy to see that number.”

This marks the second consecutive ASEWU election hitting 10%, as last year’s general election surpassed the mark for the first time in several years. This is important because no constitutional changes can be passed unless at least 10% of eligible students vote.

While Moore is happy with the improved primaries, he thinks the general numbers should be even higher.

“One thing I noticed is that during the primary, candidates weren’t really going out, weren’t really campaigning,” said Moore. “But now that they have gotten through the primaries, that’s really picked up. My hope is that for the general election, turnout is at least 15%.”

Candidate debate

Last week, ASEWU prepared for the general elections with a candidate debate. Candidates answered questions from Moore and the audience in the PUB.

One candidate seemed a little more relaxed than the others. Connor Attridge, who is finishing up a term as technology advancement officer, is running unopposed for the executive vice president position. However, he says he would welcome an opponent.

“It’s a different experience this year,” Attridge said. “In many ways, I was actually hoping to have an opponent. The vice president runs the council … so it’s important to have more than one choice. I’m going to have to reach out and get more opinions from other students simply because there is not an opposing opinion to my own.”

Attridge said it was good to be able to listen to what the candidates in the other races had to say.

Contested races

Contested races include the race for president. Reilly Responte, who won the primaries with 561 votes, stressed student involvement on campus. He told the crowd that he wants to make students “want to be on campus.” Key Baker, who picked up 377 votes, said she is running to make minorities feel more welcome on campus and to address food insecurity.

In the race to become the legislative affairs officer, Mikayla Beeler (469 votes) and Gloria Bravo (381 votes) advanced.

Bravo said she would focus on issues that may seem small, but are important to students. She said she’d propose legislation to require better snow removal on campus during the winter because “it was a problem for many students.”

Beeler said she would listen to what students want when deciding what legislation to propose.

“The best thing we can do is ask what the students need,” Beeler said. “Because I might have an opinion on something that everyone else in this room has a different opinion on.”

The entire debate can be seen on ASEWU’s Facebook page. To vote, go to vote.ewu.edu.

 

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