Lines delay voting

Less students voted this year than in past elections. About 2,300 students voted Tuesday and Wednesday, compared to the 2,591 voters last year’s election drew, Joint Elections Committee Chairman Josh Hiscock said.

Hiscock said polls were very busy at times.

“From what we’ve seen students are very interested in student elections and look forward to them in the spring semester,” Hiscock said.

Some students said they decided not to vote because of long lines that required as much as 30-minute waits to receive ballots.

“The lines were terrible and a lot of people didn’t vote because of the wait,” senior Marton Szebeni said.

Senior Tammy Inman said the lines were the worst in four years. She said poll watchers took too much time calling on the phone with the SA office to register each individual voter.

“The process of calling in takes too long,” she said. “The problem is that only two people were calling in everyone’s name.”

Hiscock said the JEC keeps polling stations fully staffed at all times, and delays were caused by JEC members who used only one poll book to check whether students had voted before.

“One poll book secures the integrity of the election. That is why it’s done the way it’s done,” he said.

Chairman of the Board of Elections Matt O’Malley said the JEC has a “flawed system” but he does not know how to improve it.

“Given the resources we have, this was the best we could do,” O’Malley said.

Some students pushed for online voting this year to cut down on lines. But there was not enough time or funding to implement e-voting, SA President David Burt said.

Burt said it would have cost the SA $10,000 to $12,000 to move the elections online.

“We wanted to do it through GWeb, but it just wasn’t able to be worked out.” he said. “By next year, there is no reason it shouldn’t work.”

While all students interviewed said they would probably vote this year, few said the outcome of the election was important.

“Voting would be a waste of my time because the SA does nothing for me,” freshman Jason Berkowitz said. “I only know the candidates by their posters. It’s like voting for a face.”

Hiscock said most candidates try to appeal to students by focusing on common student issues.

Freshman Anna Morozovsky said she would probably vote because she felt it is her responsibility, but she was unsure the results would have an impact on students.

Several students said they were concerned with the elections and believed the SA was an important aspect of GW.

Freshman Eric Wiesenfeld said he was voting because he wanted to be involved with what was going on at GW.

“I didn’t want to sit back and let others make decisions for me,” he said. “The SA definitely has an affect on my experience at GW, maybe not directly, but in a lot of different ways it oversees everything you do at school.”

-Tim Donnelly and Jason Steinhardt contributed to this report.

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