The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) elections board announced they will collect ballots on SB Engaged instead of SOLAR this year, at the USG senate meeting on Thursday, Feb. 27.
The move is at least partially driven by concerns of low voter turnout. Less than three percent of the undergraduate student body participated in the constitutional referendum last semester.
“We do want to ensure that we have the highest voter turnout as possible,” Elections Board Chair Muhammad Tanveer said.
Tanveer said that if there’s positive feedback, the elections board will continue to use SB Engaged in the future. He added that he believes SB Engaged is easier for students to use.
“We feel like it’s a better platform to streamline everything, to have nice pictures and the intent of the candidacy,” Tanveer said at the senate meeting.
Tanveer said he plans to discuss ways to increase voter turnout with the voter engagement team at the Center for Civic Justice on campus. One idea he’s contemplating is to offer candy at in-person polling in the Student Activities Center (SAC).
Elections will be held from April 20 to April 24.
The USG elections board will host mandatory information sessions for potential candidates from March 2 through March 6. Students running for USG positions next year must submit intent forms and party alignment by March 11, and students running for president or vice president will need to collect 600 and 400 signatures respectively to qualify as a candidate.
A debate will be held on April 15. Audience members will be able to ask candidates questions about their platform.