The polls are open for AUSU’s by-election and voting time is limited.
Voting takes place for four days only, from Friday September 30 to Monday October 3. AUSU will e-mail each member a confidential ballot September 30. (Check your eligibility for AUSU membership here. If you haven’t received a ballot and believe you are eligible to vote, contact AUSU’s Chief Returning Officer right away at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
In this by-election, two council vacancies need to be filled. Unlike last spring’s general election, in which only nine candidates vied for nine seats, students have ample choice for this by-election. Nine candidates are currently running for only two seats, meaning your vote is critically important.
Online studies, as AU students know, require a bit more effort than traditional university. Similarly, online voting means just a bit more work. Since campaigning is all online, student voters need to seek out candidate information in order to make an informed decision.
To find candidate info, start with the Candidate Bio page on the AUSU website. Here you’ll find a brief overview of each candidate, such as where they’re from, what AU program they’re in, and the qualities and experience they feel they’ll bring to AUSU council, if elected. A few candidates have included a link to their campaign poster, in downloadable PDF.
To interact with candidates, head to the special AUSU By-Election Forum page at http://ausu.freeforums.net/. Your first visit to the forum page will require a quick registration process; on subsequent visits you can login with your e-mail and password.
The forum allows AUSU members to post questions for candidates. If you can’t think of anything to ask, don’t worry! You can just read through answers to other members? questions. As in previous elections, what isn’t said is sometimes just as revealing?at time of writing, three candidates have yet to reply to any questions on the forum. The Questions for Candidates page is your best opportunity to determine which candidates you feel will best represent your interests on AUSU council.
There’s also a Candidate Biography section on the forum where candidates can post additional bio information, unrestricted by word count limits. Again, participation varies: at time of writing, only five of the nine candidates had posted bio information here.
The by-election forums remain open until the polls close on October 3. The by-election results will be announced at a special AUSU council meeting on October 5 at 4:30 pm MT. All AUSU members are invited to attend this 30-minute special meeting, held by teleconference. You can find details on how to attend here.
Polls close at midnight MT on Monday October 3. Time is short, so stop reading this right now! Check out the candidates running for AUSU council and then place your vote.
Barbara Lehtiniemi is a writer, photographer, and AU student. She lives on a windswept rural road in Eastern Ontario. Follow Barbara on twitter @ThereGoesBarb.