Local News

UNC Students Cast Ballots Online For University Elections

Posted February 12, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— The problems with Election 2000 have states considering new ways for people to vote. They may want to see how they are doing things in Chapel Hill.

With just a few hours to go before the polls close, student government candidates at theUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hillwere busy doing some last-minute campaigning. However, you did not find anyone standing in line to cast a ballot. they cast their vote online by accessing the UNC Student Central Internet site.

"It used to be that I had to wait in line for 15 to 20 minutes, and right now, all I have to do is click a mouse," says UNC student Fred McPhail.

"Every computer is now a poll site, whether you are in Tahiti, China or South Campus," says student body president Brad Matthews.

The Student Government Association hopes the new online voting system will encourage more students to participate in elections. Only 13 percent of the student body voted last year under the old paper ballot system.

The new system was not without a few glitches. Some students were prevented from voting for senior class officers, even though they were eligible.

"It's a little unfortunate for us spending a whole semester or last semester on the campaign, and it comes down to a malfunction," says candidate Ben Singer.

The UNC polls will be open until 10 p.m. Tuesday. The Student Board of Elections is expecting a record voter turnout.