Setbacks of Running in an Online Election
After the immense spread of the viral respiratory infection, COVID-19, the world promptly went into a lockdown mandate. The use of technology skyrocketed to rates that have never been seen before. The closure of education systems such as public, private, and non-profit, impacted the way we, as a society, intercommunicated and executed our social and communication performances.
One of the matters affected by the spread of COVID-19 was the Youth and Government program (YG). Something, which was once in-person, was quickly shifted to a virtual setting, which to some, was deemed almost impossible. Regardless of the setback, most delegates made it their mission to prosper.
Despite the sections’ accommodations, candidates running for office had a much more challenging task at hand.
When Evan Lee decided to participate as a candidate, he couldn’t fathom how the online process would affect his second-to-last year in YG. As a Social Media Editor-in-Chief candidate, Lee experienced the online election firsthand. “I’m a big talker, and I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t talk to people,” stated Lee. “It made me feel like I had less of a chance of connecting with delegates.” Although Lee won his election unopposed, his feelings for the election process remain mixed. “I don’t think I wouldn’t run again in an online setting, but I’m not going to necessarily opt for it,” Lee said.
The current YG Governor has thoughts on this too. “Not being in-person kind of deflected the connections that the State Conference was supposed to establish,” Youth Governor Jaalen Robinson remarked regarding his candidate election. “Campaigning was both easy and hard. On the easy aspect, I can use different social media platforms to get my name across, such as Instagram and Twitter, and on the difficult aspect, it was hard making that connection and getting people to remember my name.”
When asked if he would ever run in another online election, Robinson responded with a firm ‘NO’. “I would never run in another online election because I believe that you just lose a lot of supporters if you do it online,” said Youth Governor Robinson. “I don’t feel like you’re getting the raw motion of the candidates and seeing what their true intentions are with their campaign.” Despite Robinson winning the Youth Governor election, he expressed his preference to only ever run in an in-person campaign setting.
Although each candidate experienced their own complications during their online election, the Youth and Government election prospects came back stronger than ever for the 75th-anniversary conference.
Written by: Jacqueline Chavez