SGA to release election vote numbers

Detailed vote numbers will be released from this year’s Student Government Association election.

A 58-55 vote was taken today by assembly members that would release the numbers, information not previously released.

Currently, there is no written policy preventing the public release of a breakdown of how many votes each candidate received.

Both Student Government Association President Al Carroll and Election Oversight Committee Chair James Schubert said that it wasn’t released in respect of the candidates.

In phone conversations with The Collegian on Tuesday, Schubert and Carroll said that no one had ever asked for a detailed vote and that it was not released based on precedent.

Carroll also said that in order to release that information, the topic would have to be brought up in the new business portion of today’s SGA assembly.

Carroll also said that he supported the idea of withholding that information.

Today, senior Rachel Anderson, the representative for VASO and a Collegian staff member, made a motion to discuss the possibility of releasing the data.

“When you sign up for an election, you know that someone is going to lose and that someone is going to win. They release those numbers in every other election,” junior Katie Bolinger, the representative for CMENC, said.

Those against the release said that releasing the data could have the possibility to cause controversy.

“I don’t see what the point of it is,” a representative from ResCo said. “It doesn’t seem like it would do anything except cause a fight.”

SGA adviser Caroline Huck-Watson said that the decision to not release the information had not been an issue in the past and that it was in respect of the candidates.

“To me, it doesn’t feel right to release it,” Huck-Watson said.

Katie Palmer, a former presidential candidate, said that releasing the information would be useful in helping her understand the effectiveness of her campaign efforts.

“I think it would be helpful for people to know what they need to do to get votes,” Palmer said. “I wouldn’t mind (releasing the numbers).”

In a point of clarification, it was stated that currently, there are four people that see those detailed numbers—Huck-Watson, Carroll, Schubert and David Alder, the senior web systems analyst in the information technology department.

A vote was taken after nearly ten minutes of discussion.

Originally, Carroll called that assembly had voted against the motion, but a division call by Palmer required a recount of the votes.

When the vote was too close to call using assembly placards, assembly members submitted their votes by ballot counted by members of the operations board.