The results of the first all-virtual Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) election were announced via the ASSU’s website on Monday. Read about the results here:
This year’s election saw a 17.3% voter turnout, decreasing from the previous election’s 36.64%. In 2020, over half the undergraduate student population voted, while only 27.88% of this year’s undergraduates cast their ballots. Graduate student turnout also dropped to 8.73% — last year, 23.02% of the graduate student population voted.
The 2021 ASSU elections came with struggles to keep students engaged, according to Elections Commissioner Edwin Ong ’23.
“Since we’re all disconnected by distance, I think a lot of students are not as plugged into the University community as usual, that can definitely lower engagement,” Ong wrote. “To make matters worse, when the ASSU is completely online, its effect on student life is less salient, which makes it even harder to keep students engaged.”
Nevertheless, Ong said that the elections cycle went “pretty smoothly,” though the ASSU would benefit from centralized elections procedures. Procedures are currently scattered across documents — rendering them hard to track — and use outdated language, Ong said. He proposed that the future elections commissioner revise these policies and election norms to better fit the virtual voting system.