And then there were two.
With no candidate receiving more than 50 percent of the vote, students will have to vote again next week to decide between presidential candidate Frank Harrison and running mate Faran Abbasi and presidential candidate Ben Sens and running mate Ernest “E.J.” Joe.
After the 3,361 votes cast by students were counted, it was announced to the crowd that students will have to wait another week to find out who will be the next student body president and vice president following a runoff election.
Students will choose between the two tickets that received the most votes Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Harrison/Abbasi ticket made it into the runoff by leading all tickets with 1,422 votes (42 percent). The Sens/Joe ticket received 1,103 votes.
Kyle Myers and running mate Aadil Modi took third with 455 votes, and Jeremy Bills and running mate Joy Gamble-George received 359 votes.
“We were very, very nervous (about the results),” Abbasi said. “I didn’t know how it was going to go. It could’ve gone either way.”
Abbasi wasn’t the only candidate nervous about the results.
Sens admitted that while he and his running mate were not present for the reading of the results, they were anxious all evening long.
“My initial reaction was that I was thrilled (when the elections results were made public),” Sens said. “I’m happy to get on to the next round. We are very excited.”
Not all tickets felt the same way, though. Some cited issues with the low voter turnout this year.
“I was very disappointed with the overall turnout (of voters),” Bills said. “It was about 3,000, and that is 1,500 less than last year.”
Along with the Sens ticket, Gamble-George was also absent from the reading.
Student body Vice President Sameer Ahmed said he believes that the low voter turnout was an issue that lies more with the candidates rather than the ERC.
“(The number of voters) is disappointing to say the least and not on the part of the ERC or their marketing, but actually the campaigns themselves,” Ahmed said. “You can ask (student body President) Maxon (Victor) or I, and we’ll both agree that it’s been one of the weakest election years ever in terms of the candidates.”
Myers said he was surprised at the low number of votes his ticket received. His ticket was endorsed by the newly formed Ethos party, which is said to have around 1,000 members. The Myers ticket also was the only campaign not to receive any points or have any grievances filed against it this election cycle.
“No grievances filed, no points assessed, we ran a clean campaign, and I guess that doesn’t pay off in the end,” Modi said.
According to Andrew Kirkland, former director of the Election Rules Commission, the results are still unofficial and all candidates not participating in the runoff will have 24 hours to remove all campaign materials from campus.
Kirkland resigned from his position as director of the ERC effective this morning. Deputy Supervisor of Elections Cindy Lorenzo will carry out Kirkland’s duties until the end of the election season.
It’s possible that the number of votes for the presidential election could be different than the overall amount of votes due to students who may have opted to vote for senate candidates only.
The senators elected this year were also informed of their appointments after the results for the presidential election were announced.
Per ERC rules, any candidate or campaign staff member has the opportunity to contest the election results within 24 hours of the election and request a hearing in front of the Student Government Supreme Court. At the time of publication, no candidate had announced any plans to contest the results, but that does not eliminate the possibility.
Myers said though he has no plans of contesting, he can’t speak for anyone on his campaign staff.
Bills said he was not sure if he wanted to contest the results.