Fresno State ASI hosts election for 2023-24 candidates


Manuel Hernandez/The Collegian

On March 21, Associated Students, Inc. brought back in-person voting booth at the Library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Voting booths were removed due to the pandemic.

By Manuel Hernandez, Editor-in-Chief

In-person voting booths return for the 2023 Associated Students, Inc. Election. Students can go to the Library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday and 11 a.m.-noon Thursday to vote for candidates. They can also vote by email. 

Since the start of the pandemic, voting booths were discontinued and previous ASI elections went completely digital. For James Martinez, ASI’s director of operations, this the first year of in-person voting since he started his position.

“I am really looking forward to seeing how much student participation we would get… I think it provides just another access point where students can get involved, let their voices be heard by voting and voting for the candidates that they support,” Martinez said.

From March 21-23, elections will remain open. ASI sent a campus-wide email on Tuesday morning. In ASI’s email, each student was provided a link, username and password, and those must be used in order to vote. Voting closes on March 23 at noon.

To learn more about the candidates, ASI provides information about each of them here. The Collegian also moderated the presidential debate. Each candidate had to go through and submit an election petition.

Candidates for the executive position had to collect 50 signatures, and those running for any senator positions collected 25, according to Martinez.

For any remaining vacant positions, ASI will send information for those who want to join and missed the previous deadline after its new cohort is installed.

Martinez said then applications will be made available again. The ASI president, who serves as chair of the personnel committee, will then receive those applications and then the committee will review them, make recommendations and send them to the ASI senate.

Students who apply will be asked to present to the senate, explaining why they should be appointed to fill the vacancy. The senate will vote, and whoever gets a majority vote well will be appointed to that seat

The process to vote in the voting booths is the same process as the digital voting system. Students will need the information sent to their university email, and ASI and the League of Women Voters provide laptops in a confidential booth for students to sign in and vote.

“I’ve been really impressed with the process,” said Sue Goldman, vice president for Voters Services of League of Women Voters. “Because there are a lot of students that either don’t have adequate access at home to the internet; or don’t like doing it on their phone; or don’t have a good data plan to do it on their phone. So I think it’s great to have the opportunity to do it here in person.”

This is Goldman’s first time hosting in person voting, but her and the League of Women Voters have been collaborating with ASI and counting its election votes for the past several years.

“We appreciate any opportunity to get involved in voting at any level… The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization. We work really hard at that. And we promote good government at any level,” Goldman said.

Martinez hopes that the voting booths will also increase voter turnout after low student voting rates in previous ASI elections.

“Hopefully next year, we’ll have an additional polling place on campus. But the decline in voting during the pandemic was system-wide throughout the CSU. I reached out to a lot of my counterparts at other CSUs; and voter engagement and student engagement overall was declining naturally because of everything that was going on at the time. So we’re hoping that this will be the first step of rebuilding,” Martinez said.

Goldman said voting is an important process students should always utilize and practice.

“I think it’s really important to just get into the habit of voting period. It’s important that the people that are running student government are representative of the student body at large. So the elections are really important. I think it gives them the impetus to maybe vote in general elections,” Goldman said.

Results will be live-streamed and posted on ASI’s social media on Thursday when the tallying of the votes is completed at Room 207 of the RSU. Votes are expected to be all counted between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m, according to the campus-wide email.

If there are any concerns or questions, students can contact the ASI business office (559) 278-2656.

“I’m just super glad that, as of right now, the election process is going smoothly. It’s nice to see students engaged and coming out more, utilizing our voting booths. I’m looking forward to seeing the results on Thursday,” Martinez said.