Paper ballots increase voter turnout at SGA Senate Elections


Student Government Association (SGA) Senate elections for the 2019-2020 school year ended last night with only 13 percent of the school’s population (excluding seniors) voting.

A representation of SGA senate election votes by class in 2019

Though voter turnout is historically low for non-presidential SGA elections, the method of paper ballot voting increased votes from 190 online votes to 275 in-person votes, according to vice president Carl Frasor.
“Voter turnout is unfortunately always low when it comes to Augustana elections other than the president and vice president elections,” Frasor said.
“Compared to the number of people that voted online last week and years prior, this week’s paper ballot turnout shows a promising future for student interest in Senate elections.”
Multiple elected positions were were won by the margin of 1-3 votes, which Frasor said emphasizes the importance of voting for every representative students can.

“Ultimately, students should really care about, if not more about, Senate elections than presidential, since the Senate has the voting power for all functions of SGA,” Frasor said.

Out of 1,972 total first-year to junior students, 255 voted.
The highest voter turnout was in the sophomore class with 104 voters, followed closely by 96 first-year voters. About 55 voters represented the junior class while 20 voters represented seniors.
Both first-years and sophomores voted at about 14 percent of their class. Junior voters made up 9 percent of their class and senior voters made up 4 percent of their class.

The data represented in the charts comes from Augustana College’s 2018 fall enrollment data and voter information from Student Government Association.
Graphs by Thea Gonzales. 

According to an email from SGA, the positions for 2019-2020 SGA Senate are as follows:

Senior Class Representatives
Justin Verlinden
Cindy Osagie
William Bailey
Junior Class Representatives
Kaitlyn Watkins
Peyton Couch
Katie Iverson
Sophomore Class Representatives
Olivia Smith
Alondra Ochoa
Jillian Clifton
International Student Representatives
Abel Eneyew
Stanley Mensah
CSD Representative
Molly Bastida
Natural Sciences Representative
Ryan Sorenson
Fine/Performing Arts Representative
Annie Wheeler
History/Philosophy/Religion Representative
Tavian Cervantez