Election commission releases SGA election results, run-off vote to occur by week’s end

The Student Government Association Election Commission met Tuesday night after the polls for executive council election closed. After the commission’s ruling, a run-off vote will be held to decide the winner of the presidential race. This will be held either Thursday, April 16 or Friday, April 17.

According to election data posted late Tuesday night, 1,525 votes were cast in the SGA presidential race, 753 for Bobby Adams and 758 for Nathan Cole.

14 of the votes were write-ins. According to current SGA President Emily McDonald, this was the cause for the narrow margin in the election results.

“We had a number of students that wrote in to the campaign,” McDonald said. “That number skewed the data enough to where the candidates did not receive a majority.”

McDonald said that based off of the SGA Constitution a run-off vote was the proper response to the situation concerning the election.

“Because all of the procedures are outlined in the SGA Constitution, a run-off is always possible in any election,” McDonald said. “Mathematically in may seem surprising that with two candidates a majority is not reached, but the number of write-in votes resulted in neither candidate receiving the majority of votes, which is required per the SGA Constitution.”

According to the SGA Constitution, the run-off election will determine a winner based on whichever candidate receives the most votes, not which candidate has a majority.   

McDonald said the run-off will be exhausting for both candidates.

“I experienced a run-off when I ran, so I know personally it can be a very tiring process, it can really wear you out,” McDonald said about her 2014 SGA presidential campaign. “You’ve been campaigning all day and it can be very tiring.  My word of advice would be to push on and persevere.”    

 McDonald won her SGA presidential office last year after a run-off election against current SGA Senator Kyle Bieze.

SGA Presidential Candidate Cole said that some votes were not counted because of proxies, but was elated about another run-off election.  

“Back to back run-off years, it is pretty cool for the centennial year and it means a lot and it’s cool to be a part of it,” Cole said.  

    SGA Presidential candidate Bobby Adams was not available for comment.  

Over the weekend, current SGA Vice President Daniel Tribble and SGA Vice President Elect Nick Russell filed a petition attempting to delay Tuesday’s election until the SGA Supreme Court could make a ruling on the eligibility of SGA presidential candidate Bobby Adams. According to the petition, this was based off of the accusation that Adams was not a full-time student at the beginning of his campaign for SGA president.

After a meeting Tuesday night, McDonald said the SGA election commission ruled to disregard the petition based on the contents of the SGA Constitution.

According to the Constitution, “the Election Commission shall determine, enforce and provide disciplinary actions for all rules regarding SGA-held elections.”

Russell was surprised at the results of Tuesday’s election.

“I’m shocked that a candidate didn’t get 50 percent, only having two of them,” Russell said. “But I think that we have two great candidates and think that the fact that neither got a majority shows that either would be able to lead the student body very well.”

Russell received 843 votes in an unopposed race for vice president.

Other election results included Savannah Savage winning the position of SGA Secretary, receiving 761 votes in another unopposed campaign. Miranda Stoltz defeated Chase Womble for the office of SGA Treasurer.  Stoltz had 769 votes to Womble’s 429.

The run-off election for SGA President will be held either Thursday April 16, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Friday April 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. pending a decision from the SGA Election Commission.