April 8, 2004 4:42 PM
While candidates running for Associated Students Inc. positions said they have really high expectations for the election results, a large part of SF State students did not appear to be fully informed about the candidates during Tuesday through Thursday's election process.
According to Christina Holmes, who said the elections results would not be available until Friday afternoon, during the first day of elections about 700 people went to the polling locations spread around campus to choose the members that will represent next year’s Associated Students.
According to Virgina Sandoval, elections commissioner for the Associated Students Inc., they expect to reach Wednesday a total of more than 1,000 votes by the end of the day. That is about half of last year’s total votes 1,960, according to Leslye Tinson, who was last year's elections commissioner
“We hope we would have a total of 5,000 votes by the end of the election (Thursday)," Sandoval said. “Students without a vote are students without a choice.”
However, many students say they don’t know much about the candidates they are voting for, some don’t even recognize candidates names that are on the ballot.
“I just voted because I didn’t have anything else to do,” said Elena Winopo, a cinema freshman. “I only voted for the president position because my friend told me to vote for him (David Abella). So I just left the rest of it in blank, but I think voting is important, and I would like to know more about the people I vote for.”
Election campaigns started on March 16. Since then some of the candidates have been handing out flyers to students and posting signs with their names outside on the campus. But that has not been enough to help students make an informed decision, they said.
“My main goal was to publicize this election as much as possible,” said Sandoval. “I have put out posters, banners. We have held a candidate’s debate last Tuesday and we had one scheduled for yesterday, but that had to be canceled because no students showed up.”
Candidates from both slates, Think P.I.N.K and Generation X, have spent the day campaigning, talking to students outside and handing out flyers. Both of the presidential candidates sound very confident about winning this election.
“Even though I do respect the fact that I have a strong opponent, I think I am going to win," said presidential candidate David Abella, from Think Pink, who said that if elected he would develop a Student Initiated Outreach Program and mobilize students to oppose the university’s budget cuts in Sacramento.
But Abella’s opponent, Monolito (Lee) Twyman, from Generation X, said he has very good chances of winning. “I am very student oriented, and as we face all these budget cuts I plan to make sure students have what they need and to make sure the university hears our voices,” he said.
“I voted for David, even though I don’t know who he is. But I think he put a big effort to his campaign and that at least tells me something about him. It shows his interest. When I thought of his opponent I actually don’t remember seeing anything about him at all," said business junior Peter La.
“The difference between my opponent and I is that I have been promoting my slate and he has been promoting himself," Twyman said.
If a student votes for a candidate that belongs to a specific slate it does not mean that the student supports all the other candidates on that slate, explained poll worker Travis Jones.
“A slate is nothing more than an easier way to campaign,” Abella said.
“I just wish students would be more interested in voting as well as running for positions.”
There are no candidate choices on the ballot for junior, sophomore and freshman representative positions. The same applies to Humanities, Health Human Services and Behavioral and Social Science representatives. That happened because no students showed an interest to run for any of those positions, Sandovall said.
So “write-ins,” would determine who would be appointed for the position. A “write-in” is just any student’s name, anyone the voter knows and thinks would make a good president for example, Jones said.
The person who receives the highest numbers of write-ins would then go through an eligibility process, Sandoval said. That process includes a grade and unit level check, she said.
“With write-ins we could have another presidential candidate within the next 24 hours if some one wanted to do it. All they have to do is to put a name on a flyer and start campaigning,” Sandoval said.
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