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‘On the Campaign Trail’ – Where are all the Ballot Boxes?

It is a sleepy Monday morning at University Park, the slow early sunshine lights up a rainbow of campaign banners lining the path to Hallward library. The scene appears set for a triumphant final week of the SU Elections Campaign. As the pressure to ‘use your vote’ intensifies, it may leave you wondering: where on earth are the ballot boxes?

2011 is the first year that the SU Elections voting system is completely electronic and can be accessed exclusively online by logging into the University of Nottingham Intranet Portal. This move is aimed to make the system of voting more effective, efficient, and precise than in previous years. But could there be any negative consequences of losing the traditional polling booth and ballot box?

The polling booth acted not only as a means to vote, but also as a physical presence of the SU Elections and a fixed point to advertise and encourage voting. This year, in order to continue the promotion of the elections and enthuse the student body to cast their vote, ‘Voting Ambassadors’ are present daily on University Park at the Portland Building, Hallward and George Green Library and also on the Jubilee and Sutton Bonnington Campuses, handing out leaflets and offering guidance and advice on the online voting system.

Ambassadors both at Hallward and George Green Library had already been met by a steady flow of students by mid-morning, but predicted being overwhelmed with a “mass rush by midday”. They discussed being met by a distinctly diverse mix of attitudes towards the elections from the student body; the keen cries of “I’ve already voted online” were met with a fair share of student apathy.

So as the final week of campaigning commences, make sure you know exactly where to find your ballot box – the University Portal.

Dave D. Burston

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