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The Dartmouth
April 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Total voter turnout could break records

In the opening day at the polls, the number of votes cast for the student elections hit 1,676 as of 9:23 p.m. -- surpassing last year's total voter turnout by more than 400.

With the polls still open until 5 p.m. today, this year's total voter turnout for student elections could end up becoming the highest turnout since 1992, when 1,785 students showed up at the polls.

"It looks like if we get another 100 votes or so by tomorrow, we'll be higher than any year since 1992," Director of Collis and Student Activities Mark Hoffman said.

Hoffman said that this year's turnout so far is a "marked improvement" over 1,259 that were cast last spring. Last year's turnout was only 1,259 -- the lowest turnout since 1989.

The class-by-class breakdown of the votes was not available as of last night.

Earlier in the day, Student Assembly President Josh Green '00 told The Dartmouth that he is optimistic about the elections and cites the Election Planning and Advisory Committee's improvement in publicizing the elections than last year.

"We've been asking the administration to give the students greater responsibility in making decisions, and now it's time to take it," Green said.

"I think this year's elections are very important especially in light of phase two of the Trustees' initiatives," Green said, referring next year's Assembly's responsibility of choosing two students to sit on the Steering Committee spearheaded by the Trustees to filter suggestions for new social and residential life systems.

Assembly Vice-President Case Dorkey '99 agreed with Green concerning the importance of this year's elections, but he said he was disappointed in the number of candidates on the ballot for Class representatives to the Assembly.

"We've made it clear that it's very easy to become a part of student advocacy as part of the Assembly, but, as a result, there is less incentive for people to get their names on the ballot because it's easy to join later in the year," Dorkey said.

He said the first organizational meeting in the fall in which only the members elected by ballot this spring is "one of the most important of the year."

The members for the Internal Affairs Committee, which chooses students to sit on major College committees, is elected by a vote of the Assembly in the first meeting.

Dorkey, though he is a member of the Class of 1999, will be on campus this fall. He said he looks forward to seeing in what directions the new Assembly will go. He believes a lot of good things happened this year within the Assembly.

"Speaking from four years of experience, the Assembly has definitely improved over time and become more able to influence more substantial College decisions," Dorkey said. "I think that the entire success of SA depends on the students who make it up. It will be interesting how next year's group turns out."