THE FACULTY of Arts and Letters (AB) Commission on Elections (Comelec) is expecting to maintain last year’s voter turnout of 80 percent, even with the revert to manual system of voting and canvassing for this year’s central and local student council elections.
“We expect to garner at least 80 percent of AB’s voting population, which is around 3,127 students,” AB Comelec Chairperson Maria Margarita Villarica told the Flame in an online exchange. “We are currently coordinating with the class presidents of each block so that we could coordinate their schedule for the elections.”
AB has a total of 3,911 students for the second semester of this academic year, according to the data from the Dean’s Office.
Last academic year, the Faculty’s voter turnout stood at 86.84 percent or 3,588 voters out of the 4,869 Artlets then, data from the AB Comelec revealed.
With the switch to manual elections, the local poll body centers its efforts on information dissemination within the Faculty, Villarica said.
“Information dissemination is our main focus and strategy for the election this academic year. We had requested for the [Arts and Letters] Student Council and Board of Majors’ help in doing such,” she said.
The AB Comelec is also planning to launch an election campaign titled Bakit ako boboto?
“We hope that this (campaign) would inspire the students to participate [in the elections] not just to exercise their right, but [also] to actually be involved for the welfare of the Artlet community,” Villarica said.
For Legal Management (LegMa) sophomore Angelica Faith Yancha, manual voting has both an advantage and disadvantage.
“I think that the manual voting would be effective in terms of the students’ participation but I’m afraid that cheating would be a greater temptation this time since it would be easier to manipulate a manual voting system,” she said.
“I was a [freshman] last year and most of my blockmates seemed apathetic [on the elections]. But I’ve observed this year na most of us are concerned and opinionated about the elections. We want to make a change. We’re honestly not satisfied with the present student council so we are more critical on who to vote for this year,” the LegMa sophomore added.
The AB Comelec held its mandatory debate for the Arts and Letters Student Council (ABSC) hopefuls last April 4 at the Tan Yan Kee Parking Lot.
Earlier in February, the UST Central Comelec announced that it would switch back to the manual system of voting and canvassing for the central and local student council elections.
Both the ABSC and Central Student Council elections will be held from April 18 to 21. Winners will be proclaimed on April 22. F ANGELIQUE ANNE F. TORRES