Longer campaigns would give students more insights


Lynn Reynolds

When candidates are not given enough time to campaign, students often end up not knowing who they are voting for.

Posters, Instagram pages, and verbal encouragement: these are all examples of people rushing to promote their platform in the two days before elections. Candidates are only given these two days to campaign and to show the student body who they are. With such a short amount of time to learn about candidates, students cannot make informed decisions while voting.

Once students turn 18 and start voting in the real world, they will be given a longer amount of time to learn about the possible candidates and what they stand for. This is crucial in order to form fleshed-out opinions; people cannot be expected to make important decisions in a flash. They need time to weigh the costs and benefits of voting a certain way. An article by The Atlantic notes that rapid-fire elections tend to favor incumbent candidates and political parties that are already in power instead of giving newer candidates a chance.

Similarly, for school elections, students should be able to have the opportunity to understand their candidates and the reason that they are voting for them because candidates need time to show the community who they are.

Candidates need time to show the community who they are.”

In addition, popularity plays a big role on who students vote for, resulting in a skewed representation of our leaders in these councils. Students should not vote for friends, but instead for the candidates who stand for what the student believes in. Giving more time for the candidates to their ideas with the public and answer questions will solve this problem.

Uninformed decisions in politics can have catastrophic consequences. A study in the journal Electoral Studies states, “Uninformed voters systematically vote out of line with their preferences.”

In other words, by not knowing the full picture of what a candidate is pushing for, students may be voting against their own beliefs. If this becomes a widespread issue, students may find that the people they voted for are making changes to the school that they strongly disagree with.

Perhaps the reason why the given period is so short is that officer forms are due a day before students are allowed to start campaigning. If students start promoting their platform early, this can give certain candidates an unfair advantage, since some might not even be officially in the race.

Uninformed voters systematically vote out of line with their preferences.”

However, a solution to this issue would be to make the forms due earlier, providing a larger gap between the official starting date for campaigns and the actual election day. This gets everyone on the same page, allowing more time for students to plan and execute their campaigns.

As the student body gears itself to hear officer speeches on Wednesday, it is important to remember that candidates should not be sworn in based on popularity. Make an effort to learn about the people running for election and know what they stand for.

And, in future years, campaigns should run for at least two weeks to ensure that students are benefiting the community with their choices.