SG spring election candidates talk first day turnout

Joseph Basco

By: Joseph Basco, News Editor

 

(Photo by Sean Murphy)

UNF students at the library and Osprey Plaza voted for the next student body president and vice president March 6 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Students lined up to electronically vote on laptops throughout the day. Some students walked by the row of computers and did not participate in the election. Those that did were allowed to partake in free pizza and donuts, which, according to SG Elections Supervisor Joel Versace, costs $1,000 per day, for both days of voting.

Despite an apparently low turnout during the afternoon hours, Versace said it was “definitely decent.” He said the turnout would have been greater if more parties were visibily present to campaign.

“You look at a race like last year and it was [Red Party presidential candidate Matt] Brockelman and [Blue and Gray presidential candidate] Chris Warren,” Versace said. “They were very polarizing. They both had large tickets.”

He said the kind of battle that took place during the Spring 2011 election was absent for this year’s spring election.

The Red Party, who was giving away energy drinks in front of the bookstore and the library shuttle stop, had a clear presence around the voting stations.

Red Party presidential candidate Carlo Fassi said he was satisfied with the turnout for the first day, but was upset with the Moderate Green Party’s lack of presence around the voting areas.

“I was very satisfied with the turnout,” Fassi said. “I was somewhat upset with our opponent’s turnout, to tell you the truth. I didn’t see much of [the Moderate Green Party] around the polling regions but I did see them around campus.”

The Moderate Green Party, a group that is on the ballot for the first time, was not noticeably present around the polling stations throughout the day. Moderate Green Party presidential candidate John Fails said he had an alternate approach to campaigning during election day. He and his party chose to walk around campus and talk to students instead of situating themselves nearby the voting stations.

“When you have a smaller campaign, when you don’t have 20 to 25 people that are running on the same ticket, you have to be a little more outgoing and outreaching as far as who are you talking with and getting to know,” Fails said.

Fails said he and Moderate Green Party vice presidential candidate Philip Sabado were able to talk to a lot of students around campus the entire day, but noted the turnout was slow until 11 a.m.

“The most important thing for us was that people voted,” Fails said. “It doesn’t even matter if they vote for us, just as long as the process goes forward.”

Voting continues March 7 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in front of the library and in Osprey plaza at the Student Union.

 

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