The SGA is banking on the idea that allowing voting from smart phones is a smart move. In an effort to increase turnout, Marist students will be able to vote in this semester’s elections from their iPhone, Andriod, or Blackberry devices.
“Our goal is to have 35% of students participate in this election,” said elections commission head Erica Jordan. “In the past we have seen participation rates of 15% or lower.”
Of course, whenever new technology is implemented in a process such as this, concern arises over whether or not there will be technical glitches that could throw a wrench in the plan. Not to fret, says SGA Chief Information Officer Michael Janofsky. “We’re not worried about these sorts of issues because the mobile optimized site is essentially the same as the old site. It’s basically a new look to the page formatted in a certain way to work well with mobile devices.”
He also said that SGA and the Marist Information Technology department are developing a method that will track just how many people voted using a mobile device. This tracking will be up and running by the time voting opens, according to Janofsky. Having this data available will be key in determining the impact mobile voting has on voter turnout.
In addition to bringing 21st century technology to the Marist student elections, SGA is hoping to implement some older technology for this semester’s vote as well. “We are looking into setting up voter booths around the dining hall to encourage students to vote who normally would not do it on their own,” said Jordan.
Of course, if this came to fruition there would need to be an entire new set of rules and regulations related to campaigning in and around the voting booths. Stay tuned for the latest developments on that.