Student government certifies election results
Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 00:04
The Student Government Association Judicial Board certified the 2012 election results Monday night – confirming The United Party’s win.
While the United Party beat the Golden Ticket in a near sweep, claiming all but one Board of Governors seat, presidential candidate Zach Redding and vice presidential candidate Jared Zuccari won by only 101 votes.
A total of 2,681 students – nine percent of the student body – voted in the election, with 51.9 percent voting for the United Party and 48.1 percent choosing the Golden Ticket.
This year produced the lowest voter turnout in more than a decade and was the first time students voted at designated polling stations throughout campus – a new regulation imposed after allegations of "massive voter fraud" in the 2011 election.
The United Party received more than 97 percent of the paper votes, which are used in lieu of the regular computer voting system when students qualify as "private" and cannot properly log in to the internet program.
Most international students maintain a "private" status and were offered the paper ballot option during the election, according to SGA Elections Chair Jason Butts.
Redding, a junior political science student from Hanover, Pa., said he plans to motivate the student body to become more engaged with SGA and hopes to avoid future low turnouts.
"With the hard work done by myself and my team to make SGA more open and available to students, more individuals will feel engaged and therefore want to vote," he said. "We will have much better promotion in the weeks leading to the days of voting."
In The Daily Athenaeum’s Twitter poll, in which 283 individuals voted on their reactions to the election, 72 percent said they were unsatisfied with the results.
Devin Sears, vice presidential candidate for the defeated Golden Ticket, said she hopes students take away motivation to make a difference in future elections.
"Students need to exercise their right to vote because every vote truly does matter. From electing the president and vice president to
electing the Board of Governors, one vote can make the difference as to whether or not students get elected," Sears said. "Students need to educate themselves on the platforms of each candidate, attend the debate and get to know the candidates before casting their ballot."
Redding said his main goals as the 2012 SGA president include curbing bad student behavior and creating a more positive image for the University.
"My main goals for this year are to seize the opportunity associated with our conference realignment, improving the behavioral image of our student body through education and new programming, as well as to make the campus of WVU inclusive and safe for all students," he said. "I plan to make SGA more open and available to the student body than ever before."
Bridgette Boyd, United Party Board of Governors candidate, received the most votes with 1,180.
Boyd’s platform is at-risk students, mentor programs and scholarship and internship awareness.
Molly Callaghan, also for the United Party, received the second most votes with her anti-bullying platform.
United candidate Joe Reidy received third place with his platform to create easier class scheduling and registration.
Devon Lopez, a United governor whose platform is "overall improvements," received fifth place – just two points more than sixth place candidate Abdul Aziz Alshammari.
Ryan Campione, who received the most votes in last year’s election, was the only Golden Ticket candidate to make the cut with a total of 1,033 votes putting him at 13th place out of 15 seats.
The ballot also asked students if they supported the prohibition of the use of tobacco on campus, revealing 59.57 percent in favor of a potential smoking ban and 40.43 percent against it.
The results also revealed about 70 percent of student voters are in favor of an election time frame change and support a change to the time in which alterations to election procedures become effective.