| 03.19.2018

ASUI Senate election draws record turnout


ASUI Sen. Cruz Botello and running mate Rachael Miller will continue their presence on ASUI Senate, along with five other candidates elected Nov. 18.

The running mates took the first two spots in the election, with Botello receiving 542 votes and Miller receiving 470 votes.

Along with Botello and Miller, University of Idaho students elected Anne Zabala, Tanner Beymer, James Howard, McKenzie MacDonald and Laura Ehman to the ASUI Senate.

ASUI saw 1,062 students vote in the three-day election, an increase from the 741 who voted last fall.

“The turnout was promising,” said ASUI President Max Cowan. “We learned a lot about what we can do to get people to vote.”

Austin Karstetter, ASUI Communications Board chair, said he thinks the increased voter turnout was due to an easier email ballot system and the candidates” promises to work toward ASUI projects that affect students directly.

He said he thinks students better realize ASUI”s potential.

“It is really nice to see that students are finally seeing what their student government can do for them,” Karstetter said.

Alex Brizee | Argonaut
Senator elect Rachael Miller passed three new bills into action at the ASUI senate meeting Nov. 18.

Cowan said the high turnout was also likely the result of ASUI”s increased advertising efforts.

He said in years past their advertising was more focused on Facebook and posters. This year, he said they increased their efforts by pitching candidacy directly to Greek houses and residence halls.

Also, a higher number of students ran for senate this fall. For the 7 seats available, 16 students ran this fall compared to eight candidates last year.

“I think the more candidates there are, the more voters there are,” said Bailey Brown, ASUI Elections Coordinator.

Brown said more campaigning students helped advertise elections and encouraged students to be more competitive.

ASUI Sen. McKenzie MacDonald said she was relieved to be reelected to her seat, which she was appointed to earlier this fall to fill a vacancy.

MacDonald”s running mate, Tanner Beymer, said he was excited to be on the legislative side for once.

“I enjoy delving into the nitty-gritty,” Beymer said, mentioning he has served on the executive side for three years now. “The best way to work proactively is to be a senator.”

Senator elect Laura Ehman said running was long and stressful, but fun.

“I really want to get right to work and start helping students,” Ehman said.

Nishant Mohan can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @NishantRMohan

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