In last year’s Michigan Student Assembly winter election, 2,246 votes were cast — about 6.4 percent of the entire student body. But this year, the Election Board is hoping that won’t be the case.

The board has taken new measures to combat the historic voter apathy that has plagued student government elections on campus.

The board and current MSA President Sabrina Shingwani, sent out more all-campus e-mails than in past elections. The e-mails were also shortened, which MSA General Counsel Michael Benson said would make students more likely to read them.

In past election cycles, only independent candidates were permitted to provide their individual platforms in the all-campus e-mails. This election, both independent and party-affiliated candidates are allowed to provide individual descriptions of their platforms in the e-mails.

Representatives were required to be a visible presence around North and Central Campuses the week before the election in an effort to encourage students to vote and answer questions about the election.

Benson, who is a student in Rackham Graduate School, said if students are aware the election is occurring, they will have a greater incentive to vote.

“The more people see that the election is taking place and the more they are contacted in person, rather than in mass e-mails, the more likely they are to vote,” he said. “We wanted to make it a more personal thing.”

One of the simpler techniques the election board used was to place banners on the Diag, informing students to vote.

“Certainly a lot of people should see it as they walk to and from class,” Benson said.

The Election Board also bought non-partisan ads on, encouraging students to vote. Benson said the ads would reach out to a vast audience, which he said should draw in votes.

“Even if half of 1 percent of the thousands of views click on it, that would help,” he said.

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