Voter turnout drops for TRUSU election

Devan C. Tasa, News Editor Ω



Fewer students voted in this year’s TRUSU election, but the students union has given no indication it will take action to prevent another decline in the future.

For the 2012-2013 school year, 10.4 per cent of eligible voters voted. For the election for 2013-2014 student representatives, which took place on March 26 and 27, only 7.5 per cent participated.

In 2012, 7,090 students were eligible to vote. The students union didn’t release the number of eligible voters for 2013, but Dustin McIntyre, TRUSU’s president and electoral committee member, wrote in an email there were more than 7,000 members eligible.

In 2012, an average of 621 students marked a ballot for each of the available positions. That has dropped by 162 students to 462 in 2013.

The positions that saw the largest drops in voters were the vice president internal, which dropped by 160 to 483 votes cast; women’s representative, which dropped by 146 votes to 481 votes cast; and president, which dropped by 144 votes to 503 votes cast.

This was despite the fact the 2013 election saw the vice president internal, Aboriginal representative, women’s representative and directors at large contested. In 2012, there was no race for any position.

Seeing the smallest drops in voters were the vice president finance, which dropped by 106 to 499 votes cast; international representative, which dropped by 117 votes to 490 votes cast; and vice president external, which dropped by 121 votes to 500 votes cast.

Nobody ran for the new graduate students’ representative. The students union will be calling a by-election to fill that position.

McIntyre was requested for an interview. The request specifically asked how the electoral committee thought the election went, if there were recommendations for the future and if there was any concern about voter turnout. He opted to send a statement via email.

“We thought the election went well,” he wrote. “We are happy with the election. There were no issues that took place in this year’s elections.”