What a difference a vote (or two) can make

Photo by Alison Pate

Photo by Alison Pate

Dominic Baez
Managing editor

She sits in her office chair, happiness and excitement radiating from every pore. She seems as though she doesn’t know how to articulate what she’s feeling, which is understandable. She’s in a bubbly mood while answering questions; she couldn’t quite sit still.
As she answers the questions, you can see the brightness and alertness behind her eyes. One would think she would be tired from a night of celebrating; it turns out she went to bed after doing math homework, calling it an early night. And who can blame her? She deserves some rest.
Junior Ashlee Carter, in the closest Associated Students of Linfield College presidential election in the last decade, beat junior Duncan Reid by only two votes.
Carter earned 47.4 percent of the vote, 398 votes, while Reid earned 47.3 percent, 396 votes. Forty-five voters, 5.4 percent, abstained.
“I was in the gym, waiting for a call,” Carter said. “Around 7:15, I was starting to wonder. Then, between like 7:25 and 7:28, I saw the whole group coming toward me, and I just lost it. Chris [Schuldt] announced it to the whole gym. I was shocked by the results.”
Considering she won by the narrowest margin, it might have been those last-minute votes that did it for her.
“[Mike] Sladich was in the gym, and he was telling me how he was sorry that he didn’t have time to vote earlier,” Carter said. “It was two minutes to 7, and I had him vote on my iPhone.”
Carter said that she is glad she visited every residence hall during her campaigning.
“That might have made all the difference,” she said.
On another note, though, junior Chris Norman swept the polls again, receiving 78.5 percent of the vote, 659 votes, earning him the title of vice president-elect. Freshman Sean Boedeker earned 13.1 percent, 110 votes. Seventy voters, 8.4 percent, abstained.
“It feels good to know that the students made a decision, and I was their choice,” Norman said. “People have been congratulating me all day, and it feels great.”
In total, 839 students voted, which is a decrease from last year’s general elections, where 861 students casted their ballots.
“Though it was lower than last year’s, I couldn’t be happier about it,” ASLC Secretary sophomore Heather Snyder said. “A senator came up and told me about some students who were going to vote, though, but then decided against it because they said their votes didn’t matter. I bet there are a lot of people who are kicking themselves because they didn’t vote, thinking that whole ‘my vote doesn’t matter,’ when it did.”
She said several students did vote at the computers stationed at the informational booths, which was a positive thing. Also, the new style of debates, aptly titled “Fireside Chats,” went well.
“It was kind of a cool perspective,” Snyder said. “I was glad Dan did it; he really tried to get answers out of them. He asked them questions right out of their platforms.”
She said the process could improve, just like anything else, but advises the next ASLC secretary to publicize the event more.
As for Carter and Norman, their journey has just begun. The first item of business on their agenda is to appoint their new cabinet members next week. They both hope to have the entire process completed before Spring Break.
Carter specifically has several things she said she wanted to complete before the end of the school year, including meeting with Linfield Campus Safety, dining services and Facilities Service.
“I made a lot of promises, and I have to start working on them,” she said.

1 Comment on What a difference a vote (or two) can make

  1. I’m trying to find someone at the school who handles the music department, do you know who that would be?

    I’d like to try to set up a piano tutoring program to help disadvantaged kids. Thanks!

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