With Associated Students of CSU elections ending today at 4 p.m., Elections Manager Andrew Ives offered his expertise and updates about this yearâ€™s campaigns. Ives, a senior history major and soon-to-be graduate, has been involved in ASCSU elections since his freshman year at CSU, when he joined the elections committee. After serving as the assistant director of Community Affairs, as well as being the elections committee vice chair his sophomore year, Ives moved into his role as elections manager last year and has now served two years in the position.
Q: You’ve been behind the scenes for several recent elections. How is this year going compared to previous ones?
Ives: To be honest, if there is one thing that I have learned in my four years on the elections committee, (it) is that every year is different. The committee, candidates and other partners change every year. The ASCSU referenda and elections code also changes every year, so I have to work to gain an understanding about how amendments may influence other sections of the code.
Q: How many votes have you seen so far, and do you think we’ll be able to reach numbers from last year?
I: As of 4 p.m. today we are at 16.2 percent. Last year at this time we were at 16.7 percent. It looks like we are in a very similar place as last year.
Q: What have you done differently this year, and will you continue these practices?
I: At the beginning of the year, I chaired a task force, which looked over the ASCSU referenda and elections code to attempt to make it a more efficient document. We also did some research towards our peer institutions to compare our processes to other processes. What we found out is that ASCSU has a comprehensive document that helps to ensure a safe and equitable elections process. And, of the six randomly chosen peer institutions we researched, we discovered that our voter turnout was actually higher on average than our peer institutions.
I have also been working really hard to increase the lines of communication between myself and the candidates. I think the best way to facilitate the elections process is to educate candidates about the rules governing the ASCSU election. I made it very clear from the beginning of my employment this year that I would be available to talk to any candidates that wished to learn more about the elections process. I would suggest to the next elections manager to continue keeping open lines of communication with candidates and to constantly find ways to improve the process.
Q: How would you compare the energy of last year’s candidates to this year’s?
I: It is really difficult for me to compare candidates from year to year. I think every campaign that I have worked with for the past four years has brought a very different type of energy and style to the table.
Q: What do you think is the most important thing you do as elections manager?
I: I think the most important thing I do as elections manager is facilitate the process that determines the future of ASCSU and the student voice on campus. ASCSU leaders speak on behalf of students with the administration, city representatives, state representatives, national representatives and control student fees. It is important that students have the opportunity to participate in the elections process, whether that be running themselves or voting.
Q: What is your favorite part of elections? Why?
I: 8 a.m. the Monday after Spring Break is my favorite time. Thatâ€™s the beginning of campaigning! I think that this is a great time because presidential and vice presidential tickets begin to set up for the two and a half weeks of campaigning that they are going to do. It is the first time that their logos, shirts and flyers are seen by people walking through the plaza. Plus, for the past two years, I have yelled “LET THE CAMPAIGNING BEGIN,” which is just a great way to get back from break.