Student-Caused Homecoming Court Voting Complication Leads to a Re-nomination Next Week

‘Cheating’ to Repeating


The Homecoming Court of 2016 stands together one last time before going back to the Homecoming dance. (file photo)

By Sarah Zimmerman

UPDATE — Sept. 7 11:00 a.m.

Students will vote for Homecoming Court in their fourth hour class on Sept. 7 and Sept. 8. Voting will be conducted through the students school email account. More information can be found through this link: FHN HOCO Nomination Instructions 2017

— Previously reported story published Sept. 2—

When one person votes for the same person 17 times, anyone could see that something was up, anyone could see there was a problem. For StuCo, that problem has become reality. For the first time in FHN StuCo history, homecoming court voting went electronic. Unfortunately, with easier voting, came easier cheating.

“This year, we decided that because it takes a lot of work to tally up the handwritten nominations, we wanted to make that electronic in some way that so that we could use technology to our advantage,” StuCo sponsor Jani Wilkens said. “It would make spelling of names and handwriting a lot easier to handle, as well as tallying up how many students got how many votes was easier.”

StuCo used electronic voting, rather than using paper voting, to help speed up the voting and tallying process for the first round of court nominations. Students who voted last week were able to use QR code scanners and a google form to vote via their phones, making voting more efficient and less time-consuming.

“It will be a lot less time consuming,” senior Aaliyeh Habibi, StuCo cabinet member on the homecoming court committee, said. “I also think it’s a lot easier for kids to do it on their phones. I think that people were kind of discouraged from voting just because they had to write it down. I think more people will vote because it’s on their phones.”

However, some students were able to take advantage of the system by voting more than once, using fake student IDs or by submitting incorrect information.

“I’m frustrated about it because homecoming court isn’t that big of a deal, so it’s frustrating that people took advantage of the fact that we were trying something new,” senior Devyn Meyer, StuCo cabinet member on homecoming court committee, said. “But, I’m glad that we’ve figured it all out because, ultimately, this is going to be much easier for us in the future.”

Because StuCo received false voting information from some of the students, they are redoing the first round of homecoming court nominations this upcoming week. However, they have found a way to stop any ‘cheating’ of the homecoming court system. Now students will have to vote through their student email to ensure student IDs are correct. There will also be a single response limit.

“It’s a little bit frustrating, but I also feel like whenever you try to implement something new, especially if technology is involved, [problems] can happen,” Wilkens said. “I think that we were kind of like, ‘I feel like we wasted some teachers class time,’ and we absolutely don’t like to do that. We understand that that is valuable class time. But, on the other hand, we are also hopeful that teachers will understand that we are also trying to make it easier and more fluid, even in taking up less class time, so even though it didn’t work, at least we are on the right track.”