SGA saw less voter turnout this year than previous years

SGA saw less voter turnout this year than previous years

Emily Branan

2323242In this year’s Student Government Association election, 273 students voted, down from the 1,067 students that voted in the 2015 election.

Bud Sheppard, outgoing chief justice, said he attributes this decrease to the fact that the elections were all unopposed.

Despite this, he is happy with how the election went.

“While the voter turnout was lower than the past two competitive elections, the results were even more robust. We now have a unified president/vice president and fourteen senators. Compare that to last year when we only elected five total representatives,” Sheppard said.

Sheppard said 476 students voted in the 2014 election, during which he was elected. The 2013 elections were not held on Orgsync, so there is not an exact number, but Sheppard said around 300 students voted.

He said that Butch Oxedine, the executive director of the American Student Government Association, told him that the 2014 election turnout was sufficient for a school the size of Loyola.

Sheppard said he believes the election turnout for the 2015 election was so high because of the amount of competition in the election. Two members of his executive staff ran for president that year.

Also on the ballot this year were three amendments, which all passed. Sheppard said if the amendments are seen as the only competitive part of the election, this turnout was higher than the SGA constitution ratification in fall 2014, which only had 226 votes.

Elisa Diaz, incoming SGA president, said she believes the turnout was low because students were not even aware of the election.

“I had friends and peers who didn’t even realize I won because the announcement was so unattended and under-advertised,” Diaz said.

Diaz said she heard from students who did not understand the amendments, and believes this problem could be solved if sample ballots were given out before the election.

“Most of the students mentioned to me that they just voted on the amendments because they had to get through the ballot, which is not an ideal election,” Diaz said.

SGA election turnout 

Spring 2016

273 votes

Spring 2015

1,067 votes

Spring 2014

476 votes

Spring 2013

About 300 votes (not on Orgsync)

Amendments 2016 

Eliminate comissioner of elections: passed, 169 to 104

Remove college presidents: passed, 170 to 103

Turn first-year council into an executive standing committee: passed, 240 to 33