The Quest | The Free Press of Reed College

Elections Assembly: How to Vote and Get Informed

Hello, and welcome to the Spring 2011 Student Body Elections! Inside this issue of the Quest you will find all the relevant information to help you make an informed decision and submit your vote in the next few days. The following two pages contain brief profiles of everyone currently running for Senate or Quest Board, as well as three vanity positions. You are encouraged to come to Elections Assembly tonight (Thursday) at 8pm, in the SU, to see the candidates’ speeches and to ask them questions about their plans or policies. Each profile contains some space for taking notes during the speeches and Q&A during elections assembly, so that you can remember later which candidate was which. Note that while we report how many senate meetings each candidate attended this semester, this should be taken as a conservative estimate, since it is entirely possible to physically attend a senate meaning yet fail to sign the attendance roster.

As an alternative to elections assembly, you may also ask the candidates (including the ones running for vanity positions) questions online at the e-Questrian Elections Centre. Point your browser to while at an on-campus computer and you will see photos and text from all the candidates. More importantly, you can use this site to ask the candidates questions in an open and public forum, and they will answer you equally publicly. You can also of course ask candidates questions directly by email, but consider that other members of the student body might also want to know what they’ll have to say to you.

The next day, Friday, at 8am, voting will begin online. You may vote from the comfort and privacy of your own computer, or else come to one of the tabling sessions listed above and the people running the voting table will show you what to do. Either way, it’s a simple enough process. Go to and click the “Vote” link. From there you can fill out your ballot. At any time you may click the Save Ballot link and your choices so far will be saved in the system without your ballot actually being submitted, allowing you to come back and revisit your choices at another time. Once you click Finalize Ballot, however, you will not be able to edit your choices any further and your ballot will be submitted for counting at the end of the voting period. In the interest of transparency, you should also receive an automatic confirmation email with the contents of your ballot. In the interest of confidentiality, your identity will not be visible by the election czars.

There are four open seats on Senate, each a year long position, and seven candidates contending for them. Voting for senators is a preferential election and uses Single-Transferable Voting. This means two things. First, you may rank as many candidates as you want (where 1 is the candidate you like most, and 7 is the candidate you like the least). You do not have to put a number by every candidate, and in fact, you do not have to put a number by any candidate if you are only interested in voting for Quest Board or vanity positions, although we encourage you to vote in every category. Second, any candidate that reaches quorum will be elected, and their surplus votes will be transferred to other candidates favored by those who voted for the elected candidates. If no candidate reaches quorum in a round, the candidate with the lowest votes will be eliminated, and their votes will be transferred to other candidates.

Voting for Quest Board is similar, but with the addition of a No Quorum option. If the winner of the quest board election is No Quorum, then no candidate wins and a new election (only for Quest Board) must be held, potentially including a different set of candidates.

The vanity positions are non-preferential, meaning you should only vote for one option (by typing in the number 1) for each position. Whichever option gets the most votes wins. If No Quorum wins, then no candidate receives the position. Otherwise, the candidate with the most votes for that position wins.

All positions also allow a write-in option for candidates who did not make it onto the ballot proper. You choose or rank a write-in candidate just like any other, other than having to add their name. Please try to get the spelling right, since it makes our job easier.

Voting will take place from Friday at 8am to Tuesday at 8pm. Ballots will be counted soon after voting closes, and barring any irregularities (e.g. not a large enough percentage of the student body voting to constitute a valid result), the results will be announced to the student body either that night or Wednesday night in the regular SBInfo email. After that, feel free to congratulate your favorite candidates if they won, offer condolences if they lost, or just worry about your papers and exams. If you have any questions or concerns at any stage in the elections process, please drop us a line at or

Love, your Election Czars and Senate Liaison:
Jenny “The Pixie” Calvert-Warren
Phoebe “$$” König
Sam “Gentle Giant” Shemitz

Assembly: Tonight, 8pm, in the Student Union
Voting: Friday, 8am to Tuesday, 8pm
Commons: Friday, Monday, Tuesday 11am – 1pm
Library Lobby: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday 7pm – 8pm

Leave a Reply