How can Feds increase voter turnout?

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<em>Editor&#39;s note: In an ongoing blog series, </em>Imprint<em> poses a question relevant to on-campus politics, activities, and student life. A </em>Feds<em> representative(s) will answer in detail. If you have a question for the </em>Feds<em> executives, send it to blogs@imprint.uwaterloo.ca. This week: Why does Feds think so few students attended the AGM, and how will Feds attempt to increase voter turnout in the winter election? President Danielle Burt answers.</em>


I can&#39;t speculate or assume any particular reason why students did not attend the General Meeting. Starting in the late afternoon and wrapping up in the early evening is a time period that they may have many other student commitments. We&#39;ve tried midday and evening General Meetings in the past to accommodate students on campus, on co-op, or with other commitments. As an organization we debriefed on what we could do better, what was working, and if there is any major improvements we can put in place. General Meetings tend to have higher turn out when there are controversial or contentious items on the agenda. This is just human nature, if it&#39;s going to negatively or positively affect me as a student in some major way then I want to talk about it and debate the issue. If something isn&#39;t going to affect me as directly then I&#39;m less likely to want to speak to it and will most times prioritize that math assignment I&#39;ve been putting off for a while&hellip; due tomorrow. I&#39;m speaking completely from experience and I recognize this may not be the case for everyone, but it&#39;s trial and error to improve any process. When Feds tries to engage students on student issues we have moved to increasing our survey output. It allows us to reach students directly electronically and gives us data to shape our future action. It also helps with the executive turnover every year by creating standing data for us to refer to. General Meetings are a very unique event and don&#39;t have any logistical data except improvements or changes based on past experiences.&nbsp;
To increase voter turnout in the Winter we will do the standard things: increase notice, advertising, and awareness. We will also be releasing reports, leading up to the meeting, on the agenda items brought forward by the organization so there is more awareness and context around those items. There will also be an online platform used at the General Meeting to make the voting process much easier for students. Our current efforts involve the following: the General Meeting details were posted multiple times on our website, social media, and on the Daily Bulletin. There was an Imprint article prior to the meeting and signage all over the SLC on the day of the meeting. Our student promotional team handed out flyers with the event details and there was a Facebook event created with over 1,500 invitees. If anyone has suggestions outside of any of these efforts I welcome the feedback, you can stop by office to chat or send me an email at pres@feds.ca.
 
Danielle Burt
Feds President
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