At 12:30 p.m. last Friday, students finally found out who would be going into a run-off for the Presidency of the Student Association. Even that late at night, there was excitement and celebration.
But the results were supposed to be released at 9:30 p.m. What happened in the three hours between? Largely nothing. People stood around. Every half hour starting around 10:30, they would announce the winners of one of the smaller contests...after reading off the hundreds of write-ins for each post.
The website for the Joint Elections Committee said:
We ask that people begin gathering in Columbian Square starting around 9:00pm. The results will be announced as soon as possible after that.I don't know about you, but where I'm from...12:30 isn't as soon as possible after 9.
And the worst part is, the results are all electronic! I realize that they need to verify the votes, and check to see if any of the write-ins are legitimate, but come on! Reading them all off, going by them one by one, doesn't that seem a little bit unnecessary? George W. Bush, even if he had won, is not going to come serve as CCAS-U Senator. And though I was happy that somebody had written me in for that very same post (As you can tell, it was a very tough competition between me and the former President), I don't really care.
So here's what I'm proposing, and somebody tell me if I'm crazy:
1. Get rid of the write-in spot unless there are less candidates than there are positions. Unless:
2. Somebody registers in advance to be a write-in candidate. This is the way it's done in Connecticut, and it saves the registrars of voters days in counting unnecessary ballots.
Maybe next year we can ensure that this all runs a lot more smoothly.