A new student council means campaigning, and a lot of it. Following the exciting speeches made by candidates on 2 June, election polls have begun, and candidates are racing to secure precious votes from eager students.

This year’s election marks the first time MGCI has used an online voting system, a notable difference from paper ballots used in past years. The new system aims to provide a more flexible and convenient medium for students to cast their votes on the school’s future. Following the difficulties experienced using traditional ballots in the previous election, it is hoped that the new system will provide more consistent and reliable polling results.

Some quick-thinking candidates have already begun to use this change to their advantage, as a new campaigning strategy has been developed for the new voting platform. Candidates have been spotted walking around with laptops, encouraging students to log onto the website and cast their votes. Mara Gagiu, a candidate for spirit convener, commented on the effectiveness of her creative campaigning. “The majority I have approached were cooperative and enthusiastic…most people who voted on my laptop ensured me that I had their votes.” Unfortunately, not all students were on board with this new method, as “some turned down the offer because they prefer the privacy offered in their homes, which is understandable.”

Other candidates voiced their concerns regarding this new trend, “I don’t know how to feel about it” says Henry He, a candidate for clubs convener, “They have good intentions but is controversial…[it] leaves room for fraud” The main topic of discussion revolves around respect for the privacy of voters, and the possible pressure from candidates. Some candidates like Henry decide to take a different approach by handing out slips of paper with the web address, to “encourage them to vote”.

People also commented on the effectiveness of the new electronic system, as some perceive the online polling as less motivating than the traditional ballots. It was also noted by Mara that “not everyone has Facebook, nor have access to the voting link posted in the SAC Facebook page.” Many candidates have realized this problem, and are now focusing their efforts on getting people to go on the elections website.

Brief descriptions of the candidates can be found on The Reckoner, and polls close 5 June at 11:59 pm. In order to gain more information about the presidential candidates, view the presidential debate here. It is currently impossible to see if this new voting technique will win the favour of students. Until then, all we can do is cast our votes in favour of a better future for MGCI.