Record Turnout?

Students Show Up in Large Numbers for Concordia Student Union Election

There is still one day left to vote in the 2011 Concordia Student Union election, but the polling stations are already seeing potentially record numbers of students participating in the democratic process.

Update: Due to a technical error, Khalil Haddad’s quote was omitted from the original version of this article.

Voter turnout on the first day in the Hall building alone saw over 600 people cast a ballot, said Oliver Cohen, the CSU’s Chief Electoral Officer.

Cohen also said he was pleased with the turnout in the new polling station at the John Molson School of Business building.

“This is the first time that [the JMSB] polling station has ever been 100 per cent active,” said Cohen, explaining why a higher voter turnout could be expected. “There’s 10,000 JMSB students and they’re obviously very active.”

Political hopefuls are also noticing a difference.

“Voter turnout has been very high in the Hall building as well,” said Lex Gill, presidential candidate of Your Concordia. “I think that this year might have record voter turnout.”

Gill emphasized that her team was doing what they could to get the word out, but refrained from wearing campaign colours during the voting period.

She said Your Concordia is simply encouraging students to vote, but not for a specific slate.

“I think that this year might have record voter turnout.”

“Have we been telling students to vote? Absolutely,” she said. “Have we been telling students to vote for us? No, not at all, and we never will. […] Have we been telling students to make informed decisions? Yes.”

Yesterday, multiple allegations were brought to The Link about post-campaigning, with claims that candidates on both sides were telling students to specifically endorse one party over another, and were skirting campaigning regulations concerning promotional t-shirts by wearing their t-shirts inside out.

As a result of these issues, Cohen issued new directives regarding campaigning during the polling days, reminding the slates that campaigning was forbidden, that all candidates were to stay 20 meters away from the stations and that candidates were not allowed “to wear their campaign shirts during the polling days (i.e. regardless of whether or not they are inside out, you cannot wear them).”

“I made that clarification because sometimes the bylines aren’t clear and people need clarification,” Cohen told The Link. “It’s an issue that had to be dealt with. “

Though Action wasn’t willing to discuss their blue t-shirts specifically after multiple requests, they did have this to say:

“We’ve been focusing on getting the vote out and because of our efforts there so far there seems to be a huge turnout,” said Khalil Haddad, presidential candidate from team Action in an e-mail. “I would be more than willing to discuss any and all aspects of the turnout but I won’t be available to comment until Friday.”