In last week’s College Council (CC) election, the results of which were announced Saturday, student voter turnout was only 34 percent. According to CC co-president Francesca Barrett ’12, the percentage of students who voted was lower than in past years. The 2010 fall elections saw 50 percent voter turnout.
It is normal for the fall voting turnout to be lower than that of the spring, Barrett said, partly because more positions are available in the spring.
There was also a glitch in the voting system during the election. When voting first opened, students received ballots for the year below theirs. This mix-up occurred because the Office of Information Technology (OIT) had not yet updated students’ class years in the system. The issue was quickly remedied by OIT, but according to Barrett, it is possible that the glitch negatively impacted voting turnout.
The two CC constitutional amendments up for vote in this election were not passed because of the low turnout. In order for changes in amendments to pass, “a supermajority of the constituency must vote” according to the CC constitution. However, of those students who did vote in the election, a majority voted to approve the amendments.
“The changes were small updates and grammatical inaccuracies, so [CC] can still function and abide by the constitution fully without them,” Barrett said. Rather than hold special elections, she said that CC will most likely wait until the next all-campus vote in order to try to pass the constitutional changes.
The first amendment was a wording change in section A, part 4 of the constitution. The second amendment involved a clarification of the structural outline of the Finance Committee.
The positions filled in this election included Honor Committee representatives, neighborhood at-large representatives and first-year house representatives.