After one day of voting, turnout in the Michigan Student Assembly election appears to be headed toward the record high numbers seen in last year”s campaign.
As of midnight, about 5,117 people had cast votes in the MSA election, compared to 5,788 on the first day of voting last year.
Overall, 8,393 people cast ballots last winter, amounting to about 23 percent of the total student body.
In the final hours of campaigning for seats on MSA and LSA Student Government, the candidates are still tirelessly working to gain support from students despite the lack of sleep and stress they have been under during the past weeks.
Michigan Party presidential candidate Doug Tietz said his experience has been a difficult but rewarding one.
“It”s fun. Sure it will be nice to sleep a bit more, but it is fun,” said Tietz.
University Democratic Party representative candidate Alex McDonough said he is going into the final hours of campaigning with a positive outlook on the election.
“I”m super optimistic. We have had some good wins in the past few days we”ve gotten lots of endorsements,” said McDonough.
Incumbent MSA President Hideki Tsutsumi, who is again running as an independent candidate, said he remains hopeful about his chances for victory.
“I am confident that I”ll win,” Tsutsumi said.
“I”m getting a lot of good feedback from students and I think they know that a lot of the attacks against me are political.”
Other candidates have made signs to compete with Tsutsumi”s famous campaign trademark, but the current MSA president argued that it only proves he has a chance to win re-election. “I can lead! I can lead! When I do something, others follow!” Tsutsumi shouted on the Diag yesterday.
Defend Affirmative Action representative candidate Agnes Aleobua said the final hours of the election will be tiring. “Because we are a party that does stuff all year round this won”t be my first batch of sleepless nights,” Aleobua said.
The main goal of some candidates during the next few days is not just to get students to vote for them, but also to increase the percentage of students who are involved in the MSA elections. “We”ve spent the last two weeks showing campus that Nolan/Cash and Blue are the educated votes. Now we”re spending 48 hours trying to get campus to the polls,” said Blue Party presidential candidate Matt Nolan.
Aleobua also said she believes her party has increased student involvement in MSA.
“I think we have really gotten the word out there about how the trial has propelled the consciousness of students on the campus,” Aleobua said. “I think ever since DAAP started running the interest of students in campus politics has risen.”
Despite enthusiastic outlooks from candidates who feel they have gotten their message out to voters, some students still feel uninformed on the issues and candidates.
“I haven”t really looked into their policies yet, but I”m planning on doing it,” said LSA sophomore Shannon O”Brian. “A lot of people say “vote for me,” but they don”t say why.”
Second year Medical student Rohit Tendulkar said he is not voting because he does not feel he is educated about the candidates,” said Tendulkar.
LSA sophomore Christine Crosby said the endless campaigning has gotten her attention.
“I think it is just entertaining, and it gets students who wouldn”t normally be involved in MSA more involved in it,” Crosby said.