Associated Students of Madison held their annual spring elections for ASM’s 25th session, rendering the lowest voter turnout in recent history.
Six percent of student voters participated in the election. Students were able to cast their votes online March 12-14.
Student Election Committee Chair Kate Wehrman announced the election results and addressed voter turnout in a press conference Wednesday evening.
“Six percent voter turnout is on par with past voter turnout,” Wehrman said.
But, ASM has provided voter turnout percentages online since 2007 and at six percent, voter turnout this election cycle is the lowest since ASM has began providing the percentages.
Former Student Judiciary official accused of making homophobic, anti-Semitic remarks in ASM officeA statement Monday from former Student Judiciary General Counsel Jacob Gardner revealed an anonymous SJ official quietly resigned earlier this Read…
Spring 2010, when the Natatorium Renovation Project and the naming of Union South was on the ballot, offered the highest voter turnout with 34.5 percent of the student body participating in the election.
Since then, ASM election voter turnout has been on the decline, with the most recent spike in turnout happening in spring 2014 when the Recreational Sports Facility Referendum was on the ballot. Almost identical to turnout in 2010, this election saw 34.4 percent of student voter turnout.
In an email to The Badger Herald, newly elected School of Business representative Yogev Ben-Yitschak said he believes voter turnout is a reflection on ASM’s image as a whole.
“I think overall people don’t trust and don’t see ASM as a true representative body and this is a wake up call!” Ben-Yitschak said.
Over the next year, Ben-Yitschak hopes that ASM will make outreach their first priority.
In this election, 33 seats were voted upon for Student Council. Students also voted for representatives for their specific college, such as the College of Letters and Science or the College of Engineering.
Four Student Services Finance committee seats were also on the ballot. Jeremy Swanson and Mianzhi Huang were reelected, while Eric Schumacher and Alexandra (Zeying) Qi were newly elected.
A referendum was passed to makes changes to the ASM constitution nondiscrimination clause.
The new representatives will be sworn into office at the May 1 Student Council meeting.
Student Election Committee Chair Kate Wehrman congratulated the newly elected representatives.
“It’s been a great election cycle,” Wehrman said. “We know how much work it takes to run a campaign.”