New System Changes Class Council Elections
For the first time in AHS history, electronic voting was introduced to class council elections, in place of traditional paper ballots.
The elections took place in the rotunda during lunch from Wednesday, March 26 to Friday, March 28 and with just their ID numbers, students could use the ASB-provided laptops or their own phones to decide their class representatives for the 2014-2015 school year. Because of this new technology, students were more encouraged to participate.
“I feel that electronic voting makes it easier for everyone to vote,” senior and ASB Chief Justice Aditya Joshi said. “Even if you forgot your ID, if you remembered the number, you could just write it in and vote. It’s also a great way to make the system more efficient than paper ballots.”
Not only did the new system affect voter turnout, it also benefited those running for positions.
“It affected our approach because we didn’t have to constantly remind our supporters to vote with their ID at SAC,” junior and newly elected Class of 2015 President Elias Kamal said. “We simply handed them the link and they voted from their phone when they pleased.”
After following the lead of other high schools in the district, AHS is keeping up with a society that has become more focused on efficiency and results and students are happy with the progress.
“This, to me, means AHS is making huge advances,” Joshi said. Going from paper ballots to electronic means that AHS is getting more involved in the new generation, and we are reaching out to what students find easier to do.”
Many candidates also incorporated technology into their traditional campaigning methods.
“We used everything we could to campaign: flyers and posters, social media, speeches in class, talking to people around school, and videos,” sophomore and newly elected Class of 2016 Senator Holly Grezdo said.
Nevertheless, some candidates found that electronic mass communication still is not always the most effective method.
“The most significant contributor to our success was definitely our campaigning approach,” Kamal said. “We went directly to individual students and groups in our class to share our ideas, general plan for senior year, and to identify the strengths and weaknesses of our class. Students who haven’t been in Spirit Week, attended fundraisers, or other class events appreciated that we wanted to work to represent them in Class Council. We also had the benefit of hearing their concerns and pitching our ideas on how to fix certain issues. ”
With the addition of a new voting system, candidate speeches were eliminated from the process, leaving many dismayed.
“I wish that we did give speeches,” Grezdo said. “That way we could talk to a larger group of people.”
Still, as technology produces the big numbers of voters and face-to-face campaigning is still in full use, AHS is making a statement about what they hope to see from their school.
“Elections show many Eagles are dedicated to student government and motivated to represent their class,” Kamal said. “It is also a time for students to voice their opinions, concerns, and desires. Whether it’s a fantastic prom, a more unified class, or simply to be represented in Council, every student wants something.”