SGA elections yield high voter turnout

Photo courtesy of The Baltimore Sun Darkroom

The results of the Student Government Association (SGA) Executive election came in late Thursday afternoon as JBC was officially elected with a record-breaking voter turnout of 38 percent.

A number of factors contributed to this record being broken, but an increase in student body size probably wasn’t one of them. Senior Board of Elections (BoE) Chair Talor Crawford pointed to a number of notable changes from past years’ campaigns as part of the reason for the large turnout.

“I think they all did a very good job of campaigning,” Crawford said. “They had a lot of great handouts like flyers… they also did a lot with social media.”

All three tickets had a prominent social media presence, including Snapchat filters, videos and Facebook profile picture frames.

BoE adviser Molly Dugan agreed that campaigning contributed while also pointing out efforts on part of the BoE.


“The board has increased advertising over the years and really worked to do events this year that would draw attention to the election,” she said.

For example, BoE partnered with the Student Activities Council to make possible the Late Night Snack event where students could talk with the different tickets.

“The ability to host the debate in the Hoff again this year was also great because it takes the campaign to the people,” Dugan said.

The Executive tickets this year were more strategic than last year’s, Crawford added. They attended student club meetings where they knew many first-year students would be and gave flyers to resident assistants to hang in residential halls.

Crawford also pointed out that all of the T-shirt designs this year were well distributed and had effective designs.

When asked about a comparison between this year and last year’s T-shirt’s designs—particularly where some students felt that a few tickets who did not win last year were less memorable, she said, “I think they all had T-shirts last year, but I think they just ordered less of them.”

The rise in undergraduate student body population, on the other hand, likely had little to do with the turnout. Fall 2016’s undergraduate enrollment total is 4,563, almost 100 less than 2017’s 4,645. However, fall 2016 had a total voter turnout of 1,413, while this year had more than 200 more at 1,656. This high voter turnout is unusual for campuses across the country, especially when considering that the national voter turnout average is only 18.8 percent, according to the University of Iowa’s Research Repository.

“I’m proud of the work of the Board of Elections,” Dugan said. “They do a lot of behind the scenes work, and it is paying off.”

Dugan noted that she looks forward to a high voter turnout again for the senate elections this year.

“They were three great tickets. They all worked really hard, and I think that showed with the voter turnout,” Crawford said.

By: Soondos Mulla-Ossman ~Copy Editor~