Associated Student Government candidates strategize as online voting opens

The four tickets for ASG president and vice president entered their final full day of campaigning Thursday before voting kicked off at midnight Friday.

Daily file photos

The four tickets for ASG president and vice president entered their final full day of campaigning Thursday before voting kicked off at midnight Friday.

Junnie Kwon, Assistant Campus Editor

Evanston wrapped up election season last week, but Associated Student Government elections were just getting underway at Northwestern.

And after about two weeks of tense debates — but less chalking than usual — the four tickets running for ASG president and executive vice president prepared their final campaign strategies Thursday before the online voting form opened midnight Friday.

Voters can submit their choices online until 5 p.m. Friday

Although two of the four candidates declined to discuss specific election day strategy, all tickets said their teams were prepared to blast social media and listservs to get out the vote.

David Harris, a candidate for ASG president, said his team felt confident going into the crucial day.

“It’ll be an extremely exhilarating period of hours,” the SESP junior said. “The single most important element to this election is ensuring that every student possible votes.”

Harris and his competitors SESP junior Benison Choi and Weinberg junior Ani Ajith said they rallied their teams individually Thursday night to thank their supporters and reflect on their team performance.

“We’re just celebrating,” Choi said. “Tomorrow we’re going to go out there and show some love.”

In addition to using social media, Choi said his supporters are dispersing cutouts and manning the streets to promote his campaign. Although Ajith and Harris said their election day strategies were private, they were nothing out of the ordinary.

“We’re not doing too many last minute things,” Ajith said. “That’s the good thing about having an excellent campaign team and supporters from all over campus and relationships extending back months and years.”

Taking an underground approach, presidential candidate Aaron Zelikovich said his team’s plans set his campaign apart from others because of its primary focus on word of mouth.

“We’re sticking to what we’ve been doing for our entire campaign,” the Weinberg junior said. “Our main is the face-to-face interaction.”

Looking back, Zelikovich said he will always remember the four promotional videos that his campaign team created. He said his team hosted a pre-election competition for the video with the most views. The videos received almost 6,000 views in total.

For Harris, the most memorable moment was when the clock struck midnight April 8, signaling the beginning of the race.

“Sharing this excitement of building and launching this vision we worked so hard to create was an amazing, amazing high,” Harris said.

Ajith said the Coalition of Colors debate was a “high mark” that he said gave him an opportunity to express a new side of his campaign. He said this was largely because of the comfortable space created by attendants, who were more diverse than the previous debates dominated by ASG senators.

“I told the story of my sister and talked about how my personal stake in this campaign and working for the community was to make this place suitable for my sister and anyone to follow,” he said.

Choi said the highlight of his experience was witnessing students’ passion for NU.

“It’s a nice culmination of the last three years that I’ve had to celebrate and really give my all to the school I love,” he said.

All candidates said the lack of sleep was the worst part of the short campaign season.