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The Statesman

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    Polity Elections Result in High Student Turnout

    Many major polity council positions were up for grabs at the polity electionlast week. Voting began Monday, April 22, and by the close of the election lateThursday evening, April 26, some 1500 Stony Brook students had voted. The voterparticipation was a record turnout for Stony Brook since 1997.

    Akelia Lawrence, the recently elected president of polity, commented that thenew on-line elections that took place were, ‘In one word, good.’

    Having the election span across four days led to great voter turnout, Lawrencebelieved. The new online voting process was not without its controversy, however.

    Vlad Frants, who lost by a narrow margin of 150 votes in his bid for the Vice-Presidency,noted that a link from his own web-site to the voting web-site led to an automaticdecrease of two percent of his votes.

    ‘It’#146;s a shame that I’#146;d be penalized because more people wereinformed to vote,’ Frants said.

    Polity stated that since Frants was campaigning on-line, which is where theelections were held, he was campaigning in a polling place.

    According to polity by-laws, this is illegal and that is why he was fined thevotes.

    Having an extensive flyer and business card campaign, his competitor, NatashaElie, pulled out a victory.

    The position of Secretary was also on the ballot. The winner of the vote wasMelissa-Sassa Torchon. Clayton John, running for President, defeated his competitorMeer Abdul Waali. Jennet May, Michelle Morris and Sandy Curtis are the newly-electedrepresentatives for the senior, junior and sophomore classes, respectively.

    Arif Rafiq is the new Stony Brook Council member. Jeff Javidfar won as a write-incandidate for the SASU Representative spot.

    The record turnout has been attributed to a major NYPIRG get-out-the-vote campaign.Looking to win increased funding for next year, NYPIRG get-out-the-vote flyerswere all over campus. The flyers included pictures of fellow Stony Brook students,explaining NYPIRG’#146;s past successes and mission for the future.

    NYPIRG had two proposals on the ballet, one which included an increase of fundingby $3, and the other which requested that NYPIRG stay as a club on campus. Bothagenda’s proposed by NYPIRG passed.

    Except for the Stony Brook SINC site homepage, there was seemingly little advertisementof the polity election. Most students on campus knew about NYPIRG, but few knewmuch else. A freshman, interested in the voting process commented, ‘I didn’#146;teven know the names of anyone who was running.’

    All polity election results will become effective in Fall 2002.

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