Student Senate nixes online voting

Story by Frank F. Pellegrino

Student Senate voted down a resolution Monday attempting to conduct the 2010 Student Body Elections online instead of paper ballot form.

Two-thirds of the senate’s support was required for it to pass, but the resolution only garnered 13 votes in favor of it, while 18 people were opposed.

A lengthy debate ensued during the meeting about which voting method was more secure and how necessary the convenience of online voting was.

Many senators who were opposed to the online voting system feared a repeat of what happened during the 2008 elections, when online voting was used, and there were many problems with the system.

Those in favor of the resolution pointed out that the university is using a new program now and that many of the old issues no longer exist.

Security then became the most debated topic and whether one method of voting was more secure than the other.

Those opposed to the idea of online voting said they don’t like that the results could be potentially hacked and that there is no way to verify that people voting are not actually somebody else.

Supporters argued that ballots could be stuffed by someone with enough desire to and that opportunities weren’t incredibly farfetched. Likewise, they liked that it could increase voter participation and allow people with unusual schedules or that are studying abroad to still vote easily.

Sen. Jake Johnson, who supported the resolution, was not concerned about the security of online voting and thought that the kinks could be worked out prior to the election.

“I think the main reason is that it allows more people to vote,” Johnson said.

Sen. Paydon Miller said his main concern was whether or not the online voting would be safe. He said he still hopes many students vote, especially after the recent influx of student involvement after the Blugold Commitment.

“I feel like if a student is going to vote that he also deserves his vote to be secure,” Miller said, “and that the integrity of the vote as a whole is not going to be compromised.”