None of the four presidential candidates in this year’s Student Government Association election received a majority vote on Monday, prompting a run-off this afternoon between Michael Keller and Kelsa Reynolds.
All Butler students can vote through a link distributed through campus email and on the log-in page for BUMail from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. today.
To win the president’s title, a candidate must receive 50 percent plus one vote in the election.
On Monday, 1,541 students cast their vote, roughly 38 percent of undergraduate students. Turnout increased by 11 percent from last year.
Reynolds said that the increase can be attributed to efforts by SGA’s Public Relations board.
“(Vice President of PR Board)Lauren Pedigo did an outstanding job of promoting the event,” Reynolds said. “There was definitely a lot more buzz this year than there was last year.”
Details on voter turnout by class and per candidate will not be released by the election oversight committee.
It is known, however, that the numbers took sophomore candidates Katie Palmer and Josh Grant out of the running for today’s run-off.
On her campaign Facebook page, Palmer thanked her supporters on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, I will not be your next SGA president for the upcoming school year,” Palmer wrote. “I encourage you all to vote on Wednesday in the run off between Mike Keller and Kelsa Reynolds. See you again next February.”
Grant posted a similar message on his campaign’s Facebook page.
“Unfortunately, we lost,” Grant wrote. “But I want to once again thank everyone for their effort. We put more time in than any other campaign. Unfortunately running as a relative unknown is hard to do. I promise a different result next year.”
Mike Keller received a phone call from Carroll around 11:30 on Monday night.
The phone call, full of “unfortunatelys” and suspense, kept Keller on his toes.
“Unfortunately, you’re going to have to continue your campaign,” Carroll told Keller.
“I knew when Al’s name popped up that it was going to be something big,” Keller said.
Reynolds received a similar phone call around 11:45 p.m.
When her phone rang, Reynolds said her heart skipped a beat, and it only got faster when Carroll said she was in the top two.
Reynolds said that she was happy to receive support from friends, family and professors throughout the day on Monday.
“It all just made me fall in love in with Butler even more,” Reynolds said. “It was overwhelming.”
Going into Monday’s election, both candidates said that they were not exactly sure how confident to feel.
Keller said that he went through Monday’s events with a sort of “cautious optimism.”
“I wanted to really be in the run-off, but after the debates and the discussions and talking with students around campus, I felt like everyone had an equal opportunity,” Reynolds said.
Keller said that students that voted for Palmer or Grant should vote for him because of the similarities between the three platforms.
“There are some really big ideas that we all feel the same about,” Keller said. “Palmer and I both stressed the importance of class government reform and changes.”
Reynolds said that those voters should support her because she boasts more experience in the organization.
“I’ve had an extra year to meet people and become familiar with what the organization is doing well and what needs to be changed,” Reynolds said. “There’s no better way to learn how to run an organization than by serving in a leadership position, something that I’ve done.”
Both Keller and Reynolds said that they will bring new ideas to the organization.
“You have to bring some new ideas in or the organization will go stagnate,” Keller said.
Reynolds said both candidates’ platforms bring new ideas.
“No matter who wins this election, we’ll see some changes in SGA,” Reynolds said.
Final results will be released Thursday at the earliest, though there is talk that it will not be officially announced until next Wednesday’s SGA assembly meeting. The meeting will be at 4:30 in the Krannert Room.