Smooth first day at campus,online polls

In the first year students are able to vote online from any computer in spring Student Government elections, more than 1,500 students voted by 2 p.m. yesterday. Last year, 1,677 students voted at nine campus polling locations at the end of the first day.

SG adviser Todd Cox said he did not know the exact number of voters when the polls closed at 6 p.m., but he said the numbers had “grown substantially throughout the day.”

“(Wednesday) was a huge success for online voting,” Cox said.

There have not been any major technical problems with the election so far, said Katelyn Wallace, the SG Election Board chair.

“The only problems we have had is with people logging in and there have been very few of those,” Wallace said.

Students log in to the voting page using their myUK username and password. Taylor Wehrle, a psychology sophomore, had a technical problem casting his vote from a polling location, but he said SG was prepared for the situation.

“It went really smooth,” he said. “And I got a cool ‘I Voted’ sticker.”

Each polling location has paper ballots on hand in case students have a problem with the computers. The paper ballots can also be used if a student wants to write-in multiple candidates for colleges with multiple Senate seats.

Students who used the two on-campus polling locations in White Hall Classroom Building and W.T. Young Library said voting was fairly easy. Violet Brittain, an international studies junior, said it took almost no time to cast her vote.

“The process was really simple,” Brittain said. “I didn’t have any problems and it took maybe three minutes.”

Though online voting is convenient because it can be done from anywhere, Brittain said she thinks the polling locations are easier for students who are already on campus.

“It think more people will vote at the polls than online because they are already here,” she said.

Passing the polling locations on the way to class makes it hard for students to have an excuse not to vote, Wehrle said.

“I voted because I think it’d be stupid not to,” Wehrle said. “If you are walking by the Classroom Building and got nothing going on and you don’t vote, you are denying yourself a right as a student and wasting a privilege.”

The Classroom Building polling location brought in more voters than the location at W.T. Young library, said Naorin Motalib, a psychology senior and a volunteer from the Muslim Student Association. Volunteers from non-SG organizations are running the polling locations.

The higher turnout in the Classroom Building might be due to the candidates campaigning outside during the day, Wallace said. Campaigning is not allowed within 25 feet of the polling locations, according to SG regulation, but many candidates stood outside the building today encouraging students to go inside and vote.

The candidates might have some affect on getting more voters to the polls, but many are still voting from home, said Tyler Reliford, a business sophomore.

Reliford said he voted online, but the presence of the candidates on campus helped educate him about their platforms.

“I think people are more likely to vote from home,” he said. “People should vote if they know about the candidates, and I found out by the people campaigning on campus.”

The link to the voting Web site was sent in a campus wide e-mail yesterday and can be found on the SG Web site (