Information Underload

For the past two days administrators have been sending around e-mails linking students to online polling stations for SG’s 2007 elections.

These e-mails, though, are about the only resources students have to find out where to vote online.

Elections Supervisor Andrew Barry says online voting was introduced so the results would be more credible and less likely to cause a repeat of last year’s debacle in which the presidential election was disputed twice. But while Barry emphasizes the importance of voting through SG’s elections Web site – which he and his elections commissioners control – their site is the last place one would want to seek out information.

Not only does it list no information on the candidates, aside from an outdated sample ballot, but it also gives no link to the online voting location. In fact, FAU’s homepage is the only place that directly links students to the voting site. Presidential candidate Tony Teixeira says that not having a link to vote on the elections Web site is “not bright.”

“This is what I’ve been trying to say… We need to do a better job of making our SG sites more accessible and making sure they provide the information students actually need [like where to vote online].”

Teixeira’s opponent, Jared Torres, said he is also disappointed with the lack of information on the elections Web site but said that it’s too late to change these problems, which he believes neither helped or hurt either side.

“It obviously wouldn’t have hurt to have the link on there, but it’s not going to make a difference at this point…I just don’t want to have anything happen that’s cause for contestation,” Torres says.

Teixeira’s campaign manager, Gary Goldberg, says that he wanted a “really clean election,” but says that the Web site blunder showed a lack of initiative on the part of the elections commission.

“This really is kind of debilitating to the election… It shows that there is no ability on the part of the students [election commissioners] to do their work,” Goldberg says. “If it weren’t for administration sending out e-mails telling students where to vote, how would anyone have known? The elections site needed to have the link.”

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Lisa Bardill says she has already discussed the issue with Barry and points out that although he has been trying to fix the problem, better educated Web designers could have potentially alleviated the problems with the site.

In fact, she is already looking into getting SG officials’ assistance in Web design.

“In the future, administration is looking into helping SG design Web sites that will serve their purpose to the students,” Bardill says. “SG officials know that we’re going to be hiring a full-time adviser because of the problem with this site.”