Monday, January 27

Voter turnout for graduate student government election sees historic high

(Emma Skinner/Daily Bruin)

This year’s Graduate Students Association election had the highest voter turnout in almost a decade.

Election Commissioner Justin Gelzhiser announced that the voter turnout for this year was around 15 percent, 6 percent more than last year.

“The main factor (to get increased voter turnout) is slates, and more people will vote,” Gelzhiser said. “We had one slate this year, and we are proud of the voter turnout.”

This year’s election had only one contested position and a referendum that would have increased student fees by $5.75 per quarter to expand the Graduate Writing Center. The referendum failed to pass with 620 votes in favor and 1,102 votes in opposition.

“When there is money involved, students care a lot,” Gelzhiser said.

Eric Hu won the contested vice president of internal affairs position, receiving 1,021 votes.

The other uncontested candidates were Michael Skiles for president, Michelle Ellis Viorato for vice president of external affairs and Ashley Wright for vice president of academic affairs. Each candidate only needed one vote to secure their seat.

Skiles will serve as the first GSA president in history to serve a third term.


GSA President

Michael Skiles – 1,410 votes

Vice president of internal affairs

Eric Hu – 1,021 votes

Katherine Jia – 582 votes

Vice president of external affairs

Michelle Ellis Viorato – 1,407 votes

Vice president of academic affairs

Ashley Wright – 1,425 votes

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