April 20, 2005

Students vote online for ASI elections

Associated Students will hold its general election completely online for the first time, enabling students to cast their votes from the comfort of their own homes, laptops or computer labs through the ASI website at www.asi.csus.edu. Students can vote online anytime from 8 a.m., April 19 to 7:30 p.m., April 20, and ASI will also have online voting locations throughout campus during those same times.

Pat Worley, executive director of ASI, said that the student board initiated the change to online voting because they recognized the increasing importance of the Internet for interaction and communication for students.

"We hope that with easy access to voting and the convenience of having more than 35 continuous hours of voting we will increase student participation in the election," Worley said. "There is also a significant savings by doing the election online instead of the more traditional style of balloting, and it's a better use of fiscal resources."

ASI contracted with an outside vendor called ElectionTRUST to run the logistics of the online election. Worley said ASI used the vendor for its online special election last fall, and decided to use it again for the general election. University Computing and Communications Services is also assisting with the election by validating the eligibility of students through SacLink. Only students with a valid SacLink account will be able to vote. Students can obtain a SacLink account at www.saclink.csus.edu.

Worley said that the involvement of UCCS protects the security of the students' personal information because UCCS will only confirm that a student is eligible to vote with ElectionTRUST. The system also protects the privacy of the individual votes because ElectionTRUST compiles the final results that are given to ASI, and can't identify which student voted in what manner.

The election includes candidates for positions in ASI and two measures. Measure 1 would re-allocate the one-third financial aid set-aside created by the ASI student fee increase that was approved in 1997. The fee would be re-allocated beginning in fall 2005 with 42.4 percent directed to a student employment fund to provide students with financial need employment in ASI and other university programs, 35.3 percent directed to support ASI's Regional Transit contract, 21.2 percent for ASI to establish a grant writer position for the organization, and a 1.1 percent scholarship fund.

Measure 3 would increase the mandatory health services fee from $38 per semester to $65 a semester starting in Fall 2005, with five annual inflationary increases of $2 each. The fee increase would provide funding to support the current scope of services and expand the hours of service for the main Student Health Center and the Student Health Connection in the University Union. The measure would also eliminate the $20 Augmented Health Plan and students would receive augmented health services at no additional cost.


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