Complaints and controversy are just part of student government elections and this year is no different – but whether controversies affect voter turnout is questionable.

“An election doesn’t go by that there isn’t a scandal or some complaint filed,” Michigan Student Assembly Elections Director Collin McGlashen said.

This year 5,881 students voted in the election, although official results will not be available until this evening, McGlashen said.

Numerous factors, such as the national elections earlier this month and less campaigning activity, were said to influence voter turnout.

This fall’s election controversy includes a mass e-mail the Students First party claims contained false statements to benefit the Blue Party and a petition filed by the Blue Party stating Students First violated the “campaigning near a polling place” code.

The Blue Party and Students First presented their case last night at an election board hearing. As of midnight, the board had not reached a verdict, which could result in candidates receiving demerits.

The Blue Party members said a Students First campaigner had placed quarter sheets on computer workstations in the Media Union at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Blue Party claims this is a violation of the election code which states that there should be no campaigning near a polling place. The Media Union computer workstations would be considered polling sites at midnight when the voting website would be activated.

“The quarter sheets are a proxy of the Students First campaign, (to) influence voters and gain an unfair advantage over the Blue Party,” said John Simpson, spokesman for the Blue Party.

“I know the election code very well. If there was any question I would have not have risked the campaign of my candidates,” said Students First member Pete Wiowode, who was seen walking through the Media Union the night before elections polling sites opened. “I did not intend to influence students voting.”

Candidates are now ready to hear results.

“In the last two days everything has been the campaign. We are pushing so hard to talk to as many people as we can and encourage people to vote,” MSA Blue Party candidate Anita Leung said. “The whole competition thing is pretty intense but if there wasn’t any competition then it wouldn’t be fun.”

In this fall’s midterm election, 4,955 ballots were cast for MSA compared to last fall’s 5,924 MSA ballots.

Voter turnout for LSA Student Government and University of Michigan Engineering Council remained the same.

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