SGA updates voting system

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    An electronic voting system will replace the Student Government Association’s current system this coming week, Speaker of the House Luke Harville said.

    The new system is expected to be efficient, user-friendly and will help steer SGA representatives away from groupthink when casting votes, Harville said.

    The House of Student Representatives allocated $3,885 for an electronic voting system, according to the legislation.

    Harville said the previous system required special software and specific training, and when the student who knew the system graduated, it was not an easy transition to learn.

    "This eventually caused the system to become outdated and not useful," he said.

    The electronic voting system is administered through Microsoft PowerPoint, making it easier for everybody to use, Harville said.

    “What’s so nice is that it’s a USB. You plug it into your computer, and you’re ready to go,” he said.

    Voting data will be collected and represented to the students through tables, charts and other visuals generated by the new system. Harville said he was excited about being able to easily share information and voting results with the TCU community.

    “It’s going to be much more clear," he said. "Information is going to be able to be shared easily and will be readily available.”

    Once implemented, the system will notify members of the House during a vote whether their vote is accounted for. The clicker system will also allow members to send in their vote without letting others know their position before the results are revealed, Harville said.

    Being able to send in votes privately is what Harris College of Nursing representative Spencer Heath said he is most looking forward to about the electronic system.

    He also said that he tries to make a point to look straight ahead when he votes, but that it is inevitable for members to see who is voting.

    “Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with any kind of legislative body where people know each other outside of it and are friends, they’re not going to want to offend each other’s legislations they put forward even if they may think it’s a bad idea. I think it’ll be a really good way to get rid of that groupthink,” Heath said.

    Harville also emphasized the advantage of voting with clickers. 

    “We’re a group of people that have to meet with each other every single week. There’s underlying tension when people don't pass your legislation or do pass your legislation. This hinders the ability to accurately represent the voice of the student body.

    "My goal for my entire term is to be more reflective of what students genuinely want and giving my representatives the ability to voice their opinon without fear of their best friend getting mad at them," Harville said.