GM Week 2021

Simply Voting update allows students to vote in preferred cohort this year

Last year, student government elections were run online for the first time using the platform Simply Voting. The system had multiple issues including an issue where students were not grouped in their preferred cohort and had to vote using a Google Form, which was not anonymous. The Union Executive Board approved a proposal on February 23 to pay Simply Voting for a feature that will allow students qualifying for multiple cohorts to choose the appropriate one to vote by.

The functionality required to allow students to choose their cohort is not normally provided by Simply Voting. The Elections Commission asked for custom programming to have this option, resulting in a one-time fee of $1,500, which the E-board approved 10–0–0.

Due to Simply Voting’s privacy concerns, students qualifying for multiple cohorts will now be able to choose between all cohorts when they submit their ballots, not just those they qualify for. The Elections Commission will check the ballots using the information they have through the Club Management System to make sure that each student chose one of the options they qualified for.

“It isn’t the perfect solution,” said Elections Commission Chairperson Keenan Adams ’21, “but it is a workable one… far better than we had last year.” The customization has already been carried out, so not paying the fee might force the commission to switch to a new system, which could delay elections and cause additional problems. Whether Simply Voting will be used for future elections will be based on how the updates perform this year, according to Adams.