Associated Students Debuts New Voting System for Spring Elections

With 16 executive and council positions available, the Associated Students’ online election runs Tuesday to Thursday, April 22 to 24. This year’s election introduces a new voting system and asks students to weigh in on a proposed increase to the Associated Students Fee.

In an effort to provide a more efficient voting process, this year’s election moves to a ranked-choice voting system, which allows voters to rank multiple candidates in order of preference. Voters may rank different candidates for each position. When votes are tallied, candidates who receive over 50% of the first-choice votes will be declared winners. In races where a winner cannot be determined using first-choice votes, voters’ ranked-choices will be tabulated. This new system identifies winning candidates without the need for a special run-off election. explains ranked voting with this video.

“This allows students to vote in only one election and rank their candidates for a particular office. This type of voting is used to elect candidates in San Francisco, Oakland and Minneapolis and reduces the number of elections overall,” says Forust Ercole, Associated Students President.

The change to Ranked-Choice Voting has prompted Associated Students to work with an off-campus company to manage the voting process. Students will receive an email link to their specific ballot. “Students in different colleges will no longer have to page through the ballot to find their college to vote in. We hope the e-mailed ballot will increase voter turnout,” Ercole says.

In addition to selecting candidates for executive and council-level positions, students will be asked to vote on approving a proposed 16 percent increase in the Associated Student Fee, which would roll out over a two-year period. The proposed fee would increase from $101 per year to $113 in 2014-15 and $117 in 2015-16. The fee comes as a response to an increase in the state minimum wage and the rising costs of keeping many student-centered programs running. Associated Students sponsors a number of programs that wouldn’t normally be included in the academic experience at Humboldt State, including support for student led programs, the Student Access Gallery, the Children’s Center, the MultiCultural Center and more. More information about the proposed fee increase is available on the Associated Students’ website.

A complete description of all open positions is available here.