UCF elections sans pizza see hefty voter decrease
The first Student Government Association election excluding the distribution of food saw almost a 50 percent decrease in voter turnout.
The 2014 UCF SGA Senate race had 2,948 voters, a 2,307-voter drop from last year.
The decrease, said Supervisor of Elections Eunice Wanjiru, is due to the transition to the new policy and fewer candidates.
"With knowledge of potential growing pains regarding the new policies prohibiting food distribution by candidates, we were also mindful that there were a lower number of candidates during this election cycle," Wanjiru said in statement.
This year, there were 59 candidates, compared with last year's 74. Only five candidates ran against opponents, compared with 22 last year.
SGA attempted to make voting easy and convenient for students, Wanjiru said, with open polling stations from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and online voting on myUCF. And for the first time, SGA posted information about each candidate on its website to help educate voters.
"As supervisor of elections, it has always been my goal to encourage students to become involved and educated, and I feel that we took every necessary measure for this cycle," Wanjiru said.
As for the presidential election in the spring, SGA will apply what it's learned from the senatorial elections.
"We anticipated a decrease in voter turnout due to the new policies, and will be working tirelessly to prepare for the spring presidential election," said SGA public relations coordinator Christopher Hixon in a statement.