YUSU data obtained by Nouse has shown an increase of almost 30 per cent in the number of votes cast for sabbatical officer positions in the first day of elections over last year.
Last year 5917 votes were cast in the first day. 7677 votes were cast yesterday, a 29.7 per cent increase.
The biggest increase was in the number of votes cast for Academic Officer candidates. At the end of the first day of voting last year, 967 votes had been cast, but this year the figure was 1,548 – an increase of 581.
This position has seen both the closest competition and the highest number of candidates this year.
Presidential candidates had the most votes on the first day of voting, with 1714 last year and 1956 yesterday.
The smallest increase was for York Sport President, going from 1297 votes last year to 1334 yesterday.
Every Sabbatical Officer position had more votes cast for it yesterday than in the first day of voting last year.
Disabled Students’ Officer was the only part time position reaching over 1,000 votes yesterday, with 1043 ballots cast.
Data regarding the number of votes for part time positions last year was not available.
Nick Hall, current Union Chair, said: “It’s really encouraging to see such high participation in the first day of voting. Last year had a great turnout, and so far this year’s has been even better. Obviously we still have work to do within the Union to get more people involved, especially in Assemblies, but this has shown that students do care and are interested in their union.”
Bob Hughes, YUSU Welfare Officer, said he is “very pleased” to see election turnout increase, but said, “With a shorter voting period than last year, we will need to make sure that this year’s high turnout is maintained throughout the week, and that as many students as possible know that they can have their say on their Students’ Union.”
The YUSU website shows that Vanbrugh currently has the highest percentage of members that have voted out of all the University’s colleges, with 26.2 per cent. Langwith is second with 20.7 per cent.
These two colleges have a high number of candidates for Sabbatical Officer positions in this year’s election.
Wentworth currently has the lowest percentage turnout with 1.1 per cent, in line with the trend of the past five years.
All numbers of votes given are correct as of 7.15pm on February 25, and all data regarding college voting as of 10.45am on February 26.