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Voting slows down as turnout hits 9% in day 2 of Sanggu polls

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ACCORDING TO the Ateneo Commission on Elections (COMELEC), 271 students voted during the second day of the Sanggunian General Elections. Out of an estimated 6,300 eligible voters, a total of 575 students have voted since yesterday, or a turnout of around 9.1%.

Compared to yesterday’s turnout of 304 students or about 4.8%, today’s voting yielded approximately 4.3% of eligible voters, marginally less than the first day of elections.

Day 2 of the October 2016 Sanggunian Elections brought the cumulative total to 774 votes out of 8,270 eligible voters, or a turnout of 9.3%. The final vote count was 1,638 students, or a turnout of 19.81%.

Polling stations will still be open tomorrow for the last day of the Sanggunian Elections. Undergraduates may vote in Faura Hall, MVP Lobby, New Rizal Library, and Gonzaga Hall.

Democracy at work

Despite the dip in voting, COMELEC poll officer Angela Naco believes that in this election, more people are voting because they want to vote, instead of voting because they want to support the quota.

This sentiment was echoed by Union of Students for the Advancement of Democracy (USAD) presidential candidate Ia Marañon. “This time, I think voting is [now] more of a want, more of the demand of the students,” she said.

Independent vice presidential candidate Roxy Trillanes also believes there is a link between the change in mindset of this year’s voters to the removal of the quota.

“With quota, I feel like natu-turnoff ang mga tao. Now without it, people aren’t voting just [to reach quota], but because they actually care,” she explains.  

Low numbers

Independent presidential candidate Regis Andanar believes the turnout has room for improvement. “The turnout should be viewed as both a challenge and opportunity for the next Sanggunian,” he said.

Marañon believes that the low turnout can be partially attributed to the rule prohibiting seniors to vote. “Most of the people involved in the discussions and [the] whole campaign were seniors,” she said.

Although disappointed with the turnout, USAD vice presidential candidate Benjamin Alvero acknowledges that it is up to the students to exercise their right to vote, “I respect the decision of our fellow students to not participate in the voting process as it is their right.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: On March 27, Ateneo COMELEC estimated that the total population of eligible voters was 6,500. COMELEC revised this figure to 6,300 students to reflect more accurately data provided by the School Registrar. The voter turnout for the first day is then revised from 4.5% to 4.8%.

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