With all the hype of the elections around campus, my curiosity got the best of me. Candidates, as well as their entourages, were out in droves passing out colorful fliers, T-shirts and doughnuts. Campaigns included a wide range of unique displays of singing melodies to elaborate orange and green costumes, all in an effort to make their candidate stand out from the pack.
Okay, at least that was the most entertaining and fun part! It’s not every day that you feel like someone is kissing up to you for your vote. After doing some background checks on the candidates that I could vote for it was time head down to my assigned precinct to vote.
I strutted into the Tucker Hall and thought I entered the DMV. There were no signs posted as well as no one directing foot traffic at the door. Lines were everywhere, and in every direction. Determined to make my vote count, I stood in the first line for about 30 minutes and presented my Rattler card to the volunteer. To my surprise she stated that she could not find my name and told me to go to another line to look up my transcripts.
I walked a few steps over to another line and waited about 30 more minutes. There were only two visually beat-up laptops available to access your transcripts. At this point I was clearly annoyed by the situation. The noise level for a voting poll was at an above average rate.
I finally made it to the front of the line to access my iRattler account. I presented the information to the volunteer, she briefly scanned over my account and asked if I happened to be a new or transfer student. I said yes. Next she stated that I would have to get out of line and go to another building. No apology, no thank you, just bad customer service.
As a Florida A&M student I find this system unacceptable. While leaving, I noticed students walking up and talking to individuals that were filling out there ballot. I also noticed students wearing buttons of the candidate that they were voting for, which is totally illegal. Lastly, there were students gathered around where you turn in your vote. I thought to myself, “Where is the confidentiality?”
My voting experience was awful and reflects the leadership of Electoral Commissioner as well as the staff. I don’t think that it is fair to the candidates who have worked hard, and I question if the results may have been tainted. Rules are put in place for a reason. This is one FAMU student that will not vote again until the process is fairly regulated across the board.