OIT to hold mock online election
By HELENA PAYNE
The Office of Information Technology is inviting students to participate Monday in a mock election to test an application for online voting in the upcoming student government races.
"It's going to look and operate just as the actual election will," said Patricia Sperry, manager of Web developer services.
From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., students can access the voting Web page from any computer with Internet access and vote for imaginary candidates, logging into the page with their AFS ID and password. The judicial board will e-mail the link to students Sunday at midnight.
"We're hoping very much that people will do the mock election so that we can really have a test on it," Sperry said.
The goal of the mock trial is to make sure the application can handle the traffic of the thousands of students expected to vote in the campus-wide elections.
"If the server cannot handle the load they will make changes," said Danielle Ledesma, president of the judicial board, which runs campus elections. "We don't want 50 students to vote and have the server crash in the real election because [the mock election] didn't have nearly the amount of students.
Although "unforeseen things do happen," Sperry said OIT anticipates a successful mock election that will flash a green light for regular elections.
The major advantage of the online election for students, Sperry said, is the convenience of voting from any computer with Internet access.
This option specifically caters to students who are studying abroad. Though they have been able to e-mail their votes to the judicial board in previous elections, they have sacrificed their confidentiality. In the proposed online election, they would be as anonymous as any other voter.
Also, the judicial board will have an easier time determining the winner.
"The tallying of who wins is going to be extremely fast," Sperry said. "They will have the totals right there for them."
The first real election is Feb. 10. A runoff is scheduled for Feb. 13.
All News Stories for Friday, January 31, 2003