Elections Politics

UNITE dominates Student Senate elections

Written by Hayley Harding

The UNITE ticket swept the Student Senate elections Wednesday, taking 37 of the 39 seats available despite problems with the online voting system.

Impact, the opposing ticket, won only two seats — one seat for West Green senator and the unopposed race for University College senator.

Breakdown: 2016 Student Senate election results

President-elect Hannah Clouser, a junior actuarial science major, said she looked forward to the year to come after her victory.

“I am so, so excited for the upcoming year and to get started,” Clouser said. “I didn’t expect to win by such large majority, but I’m so happy the student body saw potential in us.”

A huge UNITE majority means the ticket will have the opportunity to go through its platform and build on the foundation it has created, Clouser said after the results were announced.

“We’re really looking forward to putting out applications for other positions and come through on the PR team we’ve been talking about,” Clouser said.

UNITE ran unopposed for several seats, including East Green senator and senators for many academic colleges. Impact was unopposed only for the University College senator seat.

Jordan Kelley, an integrated language arts education major and the presidential candidate for the Impact ticket, said he was proud of his ticket even though it lost.

“We had a great couple of weeks,” Kelley said. “The things we proposed as a ticket are things we still hope to do, in or out of Senate.”

Before announcing the winners of the race, members of the Board of Elections read from a press release about “a glitch with the electronic ballot.”

A student notified both tickets and the Board of Elections at 10:45 a.m. about how the voting system, which was supposed to display the names of candidates in a random order each time someone looked at them, would maintain the votes selected but change the names, leading to potentially unintentional votes.

The Board of Elections used Google Analytics to calculate page views and figured out how many votes were potentially affected from there, according to the press release.

“There are at most 116 votes that may be affected by this issue,” the press release said. “Utilizing this proportion it was determined that all results would be unaffected by this error with the exception of potentially one. The West Green Senator position was within this very conservative margin, however the Board determined this would not likely have affect the outcome (sic all).”

Despite the potential for error, the Board validated all results.

The ratification of all amendments on the ballot was also announced, including 1516-88, changing “quarters” to ‘“semesters” in Student Senate’s constitution, 1516-93, which approved a referendum, and 1516-99, which created a judicial panel for the Senate.

The 2016-2017 Student Senate inauguration will take place in April.

About the author

Hayley Harding

Hayley worked as the local editor for the 2015-2016 school year, following time as both the city editor and a campus reporter. She is pursuing degrees in journalism and political science with a minor sociology. She is also involved in the Ohio University chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. In life, she wants to write stories that are beautiful both to look at and to read.

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