SGA Releases First-Round Election Results

by Kim Rodgers
Staff

Senior Tyler Murphy, SGA electorials committee chair, announces the results for the first round of the elections, which narrowed the presidential race to three candidates. There will also be a runoff election between the top candidates for vice president and secretary.

Forty percent of Transylvania’s student body voted in the first round of the Student Government Association elections, but only one office has been filled so far.

First-year Charli Fant ran unopposed for SGA treasurer. A majority of the students who voted on Monday and Tuesday checked the box beside Fant’s name on the ballot, so she received the position.

The race for president was narrowed to the three top candidates. Of the five original candidates, juniors Jessica Beard, Grant Buckles, Daniel Cooper, Prya Murad and Jessica Short, only Beard, Buckles and Murad will advance to compete in the presidential elections on April 1-2. The exact percentage of votes each of the top candidates received will not been released; those who will be on the ballot are the three candidates who individually received more votes than the other two.

Also in these elections, the two top candidates for vice president and secretary will have a runoff, as neither of the top candidates for either position received a majority.

First-year Andrew Goff and sophomore Anderson Salinas will remain on the ballot for SGA vice president, sophomore Josh Edge and junior Alex Keys for secretary.
In order to win the SGA presidency, one candidate must receive 50 percent or more of the vote.

“All I will say is that the margin was exceptionally close between all five candidates,” said senior Tyler Murphy, SGA elections committee chair. “I expect it to be close in the presidential election on Thursday and Friday as well, which underscores the importance of getting out to vote.”

Murphy said he was disappointed that only 40 percent of students voted, which is lower than the 50 percent turnout seen last year for the officer elections.

“This next round of voting hopefully will have a better measure of participation, because a lot of times students like to wait and see who will be in the final field and then make their decisions based on the narrower field,” Murphy said.

“I want to thank the students who did participate and encourage everyone to vote in the elections on Thursday and Friday,” Murphy added.
Murphy said that steps have been taken this year to ensure that the elections are as accurate as possible.

“All students signed a roster before being issued a ballot, and the count … shows the roster was effective, because there was no daylight between the numbers,” he said. “The ballots and roster were stored in the DPS office to prevent unauthorized access, and we invited the Rambler to sit in on the tabulation process because we have nothing to hide. We’re 100 percent transparent.”

Assisting Murphy in the ballot count were sophomore Eli Glass and first-year Katie Oakes.

Murphy said that the first-round elections went very smoothly, with only a higher turnout left to be desired.

“These are the student’s votes, and they should feel confident that their votes were counted fairly and accurately,” Murphy said.

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