Records set in primary vote totals

More students than ever before voted this year online in the student government primary elections-and that happened before the first day of voting was over.

The totals this year shatter the previous record of 3,096, which was set in 2003. In fact, this year’s record is the highest voter turnout for both primaries and final elections since voting began taking place online in 1998.

This year, the marketing campaign to get students to vote has been bigger and more aggressive than most in the Associated Students of the University of Utah can remember, with more signs, more announcements and creative advertising.

“When the snow fell, we painted the snow,” said ASUU office coordinator Kare McNamana-Kearin, referring to snow sculptures near the Park Building.

Sofia Lingos, the person responsible for the unprecedented marketing campaign to get students to vote, attributed the record breaking tallies mainly to a helpful library staff that allowed vote stickers to be placed on every computer.

She also credits the 150 vote T-shirts worn by staff members of the Associated Students of the University of Utah and others on campus.

She said she thought students were receptive to fliers from non-affiliated individuals.

But not once did she bring up the fact that she had spent a lot of her own money on the aggressive marketing campaign that totaled nearly $2,300 in expenses.

“It’s a great thing. It’s getting more student involvement and keeping the campus unified toward a common goal,” Lingos said.

Other members of ASUU said they thought the candidates helped to increase voter turnout by being aggressive in contacting students.

Originally, the communications board challenged themselves to increase voter turnout by 5 percent.

“We already beat our challenge and we hope to keep going.”

For final elections the board is planning more announcements, more signs and a big thermometer poster to measure the number of students that will have voted saying, “You set it, now break it.”

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