Palo Alto High School’s Associated Student Body elections for the 2015-16 school year reached a record voter turnout of 67 percent.
According to sophomore class president Noa Ben-Efraim, over the past few years, ASB’s voter turnout has been increasing, and this year it reached around a 67 percent voter turnout — 20 percent more than last year.
“ASB’s reputation on campus is continuously growing and I think that is reflected when four students are running for a class vice-president,” Ben-Efraim said. “When more people are getting involved in elections it attracts a greater percentage of all students.”
Ben-Efraim said ASB started the Town hall debates for the ASB Vice President and President positions this year.
“The Town-hall debates were a great way for students to hear each candidate’s point of view, and hear them answer questions that students personally asked via a Google site,” Ben-Efraim said. “Even though the number of debate attendees wasn’t a great turnout, we believe it has great potential to be a big part of elections and next year we are hoping to expand the event in order reach more students.”
According to junior and ASB secretary Joseph Kao, Paly journalism publications did a good job of capturing footage and publishing it online for students to see.
“In Focus also did a really good job showing the speeches and giving people an allotted time to take out their phones and vote,” Kao said.
Ben-Efraim attributes the greater turnout in votes to the hard work put into increasing publicity for events, which drew students’ attentions to the elections.
“I think for elections this year, our publicity efforts through social media, on campus voting, and the candidates campaigns got the students interested and curious about the elections and therefore translated into a greater voter turnout.”