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This Year’s Election and a Humiliating Second Election
by Minho Chu | 승인 2021.02.27 14:10|(267호)

In November 2020, Chungnam National University students were given the opportunity to vote for new student council members for 2021. It took a second election to confirm the results. Why did it take two elections, and what happened in the process?
It all started on voting day, November 11. The voting hours had to be extended by two hours more than the planned ten, from 08:30 to 20:30. Unlike expectations, so few people voted, that in the end, the number of votes cast did not meet the 50 percent threshold, invalidating all votes. The humiliating number of votes cast resulted in some students encouraging others to vote using the community website “Every Time” and criticizing others after voting was over.
The fact that less than half of eligible voters cast a vote did not only highlight a lack of participation, but it also meant that the candidates would be automatically disqualified due to the School’s election rules. To fix this, the Central Elections Committee decided to amend the relevant section of the election rules, overlooking the fact that the elections were ongoing.
When this was discovered, there was a great outcry, leading to the Head of the Elections Committee making an apology as well as extending the voting time to 20:30. Even then, the number of votes did not pass the required 50 percent.

Due to the lack of votes, the CNU Student Council as well as some department student council members were unable to be elected, causing further dissatisfaction among students. Eventually, on November 17, the Central Elections Committee announced a second election to take place over three days, from November 25 to 27.
To prevent the CNU Student Council from organizing an Emergency Response Committee, individual departments within CNU held an election encouragement campaign to increase voter turnout. After the three days of voting, with a total of 51 percent of votes cast, C-ONE was elected as the 52nd CNU Student Council, winning 80 percent of the votes cast.

Due to the lack of votes, the CNU Student Council as well as some department student council members were unable to be elected, causing further dissatisfaction among students. Eventually, on November 17, the Central Elections Committee announced a second election to take place over three days, from November 25 to 27.
To prevent the CNU Student Council from organizing an Emergency Response Committee, individual departments within CNU held an election encouragement campaign to increase voter turnout. After the three days of voting, with a total of 51 percent of votes cast, C-ONE was elected as the 52nd CNU Student Council, winning 80 percent of the votes cast.
Although the election results were favorable, this does not change the fact that the number of votes cast barely exceeded the threshold. The department student council voting rates were no better, remaining under 70 percent.
From one side’s point of view, the lack of voting was tied to the Covid-19 pandemic as the candidates could not easily communicate with students. However, from another point of view, it was opined that “despite the problems caused by COVID-19, people should still vote.”
The 2020 Student Council elections likely revealed CNU students’ attitudes toward the voting process, so it appears clear that this is a problem that needs solving. This election should be a wake-up call to all of us.

by Minho Chu  news@cnu.ac.kr

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