Monday, June 17

Council argues over suffrage semantics

USAC votes to allow students to vote on their future voting format "“ on paper, or online

 Timothy Kudo

Managing Editor

 Michael Falcone

Viewpoint Editor

 Cuauhtemoc Ortega

Staff Representatives

 Maegan Carberry

 Edward Chiao

 Kelly Rayburn

Editorial Board Assistants

 Maegan Carberry

 Edward Chiao

  Unsigned editorials represent a majority opinion of
the Daily Bruin Editorial Board. All other columns, letters and
artwork represent the opinions of their authors.   All
submitted material must bear the author’s name, address, telephone
number, registration number, or affiliation with UCLA. Names will
not be withheld except in extreme cases.   The Bruin
complies with the Communication Board’s policy prohibiting the
publication of articles that perpetuate derogatory cultural or
ethnic stereotypes.   When multiple authors submit
material, some names may be kept on file rather than published with
the material. The Bruin reserves the right to edit submitted
material and to determine its placement in the paper. All
submissions become the property of The Bruin. The Communications
Board has a media grievance procedure for resolving complaints
against any of its publications. For a copy of the complete
procedure, contact the Publications office at 118 Kerckhoff Hall.
Daily Bruin 118 Kerckhoff Hall 308 Westwood Plaza Los Angeles, CA
90024 (310) 825-9898

The Undergraduate Student Association Council voted last night
7-5 to approve a spring ballot item that would ask students how
they would prefer to vote. The item was meant to advise next
year’s council on student preference in light of a movement
by administrators and students to switch from campus paper
balloting to online voting.

Sadly USAC appointed the Election Board members too late to
begin online voting this year, a move that would have enfranchised
numerous voters studying abroad, or students who would have found
it more convenient. The Graduate Student Association began online
voting last year and their turnout increased from 10 to 15 percent,
a 50 percent increase in absolute figures.

Though council members sadly spent more than an hour arguing
over the semantics of the item’s language, the meeting
illustrated the sharp divisions among council. Student Empowerment!
members are wary of online voting because their political
strategies lend more to lobbying voters on their way to paper
ballots. There are also fears that the Greek system, which often
pressures members to vote their slate in, would abuse the system by
making it easier for block voting to occur due to the convenience
of going online from the frat or sorority house.

This issue, despite council’s bickering, is not a matter
of semantics ““ it’s a matter of the enfranchisement
which online voting will promote. Perhaps when council realizes
this they’ll do what’s needed to empower students,
rather than limiting their ability to cast their vote.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on Reddit

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.