Mudge House moderates mock election for students
Students went to the polls the past week in a mock election sponsored by Mudge House. The election employed an electoral college where each dormitory received a proportional number of electoral votes. There were no accusations of voter fraud and the online voting system, created by students, worked faultlessly. Mudge RA Dean Eberhardt, a Masters student in Industrial Administration, and one of the organizers of the event, hoped ?that the vote will raise the political awareness of the undergraduate population.? In addition to raising awareness, Eberhardt wanted for the poll to ?increase interest in the student body in the election itself and get more people to vote.?
In order to increase voter turnout, members of the Mudge RA staff wore T-shirts advertising the event and tabled outside of Doherty to collect votes. Other RAs advertised the event to their residents and individual student groups sent out e-mails.
All students were eligible to vote, whether or not they were citizens or 18. According to Mudge housefellow Niloo Sobhani, ?We hope that a mock election can become a tradition on campus every four years. I think it?s important to give our international students and students who are not old enough to vote a voice.? She credited her RAs and CA for working to encourage student voting. Furthermore, she noted that many students inquired about the results while the voting was still open, which she believes demonstrates that students ?are very engaged in the political process and specifically in this election.?
One way that the organizers tried to increase turnout was to offer a $200 prize for the residence hall that had the highest percentage of voters. Forbes House won with 63 percent, with Morewood E Tower and Donner taking second and third with 54 percent and 50 percent, respectively.
According to the tallied vote, John Kerry was the mock winner of the Presidency. With 2597 students voting, Kerry won 70.2 percent of the popular vote, as well as every single electoral vote. Following Kerry (Democratic) were President Bush (Republican), with 22.68 percent of the vote, Ralph Nader (Independent) with 2.89 percent of the vote, Michael Badnarik (Libertarian) with 2.81 percent, Michael Peroutka (Constitution) with 0.92 percent, and David Cobb (Green) with 0.5 percent.
While Kerry won every single residence hall, there was a concerted effort to get out the vote from the College Republicans, who circulated an e-mail imploring members to vote.