Spread the vote: ASB aims to encourage more students to vote during election


Ryan McCarthy, Sports Editor

In Branham’s annual student government elections, student apathy continues to be a problem. This year’s leadership class has plans to fix it.

Along with the current ASB board—all of whom are seniors—activities director Christina Hillman is turning away from last year’s voting method, the 5-Star Students app. The app was problematic with students because it forced students to register with the app before voting.

This election season, Hillman said that they will send out individual links to each student’s school email account, in an effort to make the process easier for voters.

“My hope is that because a link is sent to students directly, student voting will increase,” Hillman said. “Last [election] was a better turnout than other votes we put out, but it was definitely not the entire student body voting.”

Hillman also reached out to some of the teachers after the election for answers on the apathy problem. In doing so, she said that the students had a negative outlook on the elections, and never felt the need to make themselves heard.

“Teachers said that their students didn’t feel like it was important to them or that they didn’t care or had no preference,” Hillman said.

Junior and ASB president candidate Kaitlyn Lee thinks that more students should consider voting for people that can best represent them as leaders, which can only happen if they choose to use this opportunity.

“As more people vote, they have a better representation and a chance for things to change,” said Lee. “Part of that is electing people who will listen to you.

“It’s hypocritical to say you want a different person in a position after not voting in the election. If you want something to change, you should use your vote to change it.”

Hillman said that the most important action to take is teaching students why they should vote, and emphasizing the narrative that their vote matters.

“Educating the student body on why these decisions matter and why they should matter to them [is important],” Hillman said. “Everyone has opinions of what ASB does, so electing the people that they feel are their best representation should be important.”

Hillman is also aiming to use a part of class time to give students a more opportunistic time to vote, rather than during breaks, where they had previously considered operating voting stations in front of the cafeteria or in the quad.

“I don’t think we would get the turnout that we could get if we just did it during breaks,” Hillman said. “If we had them come to us it wouldn’t be as successful as we were looking for. Giving students time to vote in their classes increases the chance that we will have more voters.”

Hillman’s ultimate goal in this election is making sure students know the importance of voting, and is taking it upon herself to send that message out to students directly.

“If you look at America today, not everyone chooses to exercise their right to vote for whatever reason, either because they feel like their vote doesn’t count or it doesn’t matter,” Hillman said. “Some people will still choose not to vote, but we are going to do everything we can to encourage people to vote.”