Online voting approved for spring elections

Online voting will now be available from any computer for the spring Student Government elections after the full Senate passed an amendment to the Elections Act last night.

Last March was the first time online voting was used in a spring election, but there were online voting booths set up, rather than making every computer a possible polling location.

The freshman election in early November was the first election to allow voting from any computer using the SG Web site. About half the freshman class voted in the election, a higher turnout than the past, with about 1,200 less voters than the 2007 spring election, in which the entire student body could vote.

Sen. Tom Rauf said increased interest in the freshman elections showed that using the Internet is more beneficial to students.

“When we gave students the option to vote online or at polling locations, a lot more supported online voting,” Rauf said. “The campus polling locations weren’t being used much at all.”

Polling locations on campus will still be used in the election with the passage of the amendment, but the change will add the ability for students to view candidate profiles and vote online from any computer for the first time in a spring election. Other changes to the act included modifying the hours that students can vote, which Rauf said would give the Election Board of Supervisions more flexibility and make it easier and more accessible for students to vote.

The Senate also unanimously confirmed the members of the Election Board of Supervisions, which monitors and runs the spring election.

Also at the meeting, the Senate passed a resolution that requested the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference to implement a ticket policy for all regular-season football games that would allocate a minimum of 500 tickets for the students from the visiting team.

Sen. Blake Burnett co-sponsored the resolution and said this request is part of a collective effort from the majority of SEC universities.

“Other SEC schools have made resolutions like this,” Burnett said. “We just want to make sure that every student in the SEC has the opportunity to go see their team play.”

Sen. Jeff Barbee opposed the resolution and said it would make it easier for opposing teams to bring more fans to UK games.

“If we’re having a home game, we need to do whatever we can to give our team an advantage,” Barbee said. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to welcome opposing teams to our school.”

Barbee also said that UK students didn’t travel as well as other school’s fans. Sen. Brittany Pennington said this resolution could change that.

“If there were tickets available and you knew you could get them, why wouldn’t you go?” Pennington said. “If other SEC schools are doing this we need to hop on board.”

Four Senate special projects were unanimously approved at last night’s meeting. Students for Safety at UK was given $1,000 to fund the production of “The Vagina Monologues” on Feb. 15 and 16. The UK chapter of Big Brothers and Big Sisters was approved for $999 for its annual Bowl 4 Kids’ Sake event. The UK Salvation Army Clinic was allocated $1,880 to buy a new physical therapy table and $2,000 was approved to help fund the College of Arts and Sciences’ Geek Week from Feb 18 to 22.