After campaigning, debates and voting, the 2022-23 SGA elections have ended in some controversy at the top of the ballot.
The presidential race between Anthonio Prince, Ira Livnat and Kirsten McManus, and the Speaker of the Senate race between Jordan Madden, Tanjanae Walker and Qayla Shipp may be going to a runoff based on new information.
In the first round of votes, Prince was leading the race with 316 votes, 49.5% of the total vote.
Candidates Ira Livnat and Kristen McManus trailed behind with 209 (33%) and 113 (18%) votes, respectively.
Due to the ranked-choice voting system, the students that voted for McManus had their second-choice votes given to the respective candidates.
After the second round, Prince led with 359 or 61% of the votes. Livnat was the runner-up at 234 or 39% of the vote.
In the race for speaker, Jordan Madden led the first round of votes with 147 (47%) votes. Tanjanae Walker and Qayla Shipp trailed by a good margin with 98 (31%) and 68 (21%) votes, respectively.
When Shipp was eliminated, the second-choice votes balanced the field. The final tally amounted to 167 (56%) for Madden and 131 (44%) for Walker.
Based on the rules of ranked-choice voting, these races should have been declared in favor of Prince and Madden for president and speaker, respectively.
However, the SGA bylaws have clauses that contradict one another and question the validity of the results.
Title VIII: The Election Code of the SGA bylaws lays out how votes are to be counted and considered for every elected position.
Article 10: Election Results section A titled “Executive Races” states that the three executive offices, President, Executive-Vice President and Speaker of the Senate, must receive a majority of the votes in the first round to be declared a winner.
Subsections a and b of that section go as follows “a. The winner of the races for executive positions (President, EVP, and Speaker) shall be determined by a majority of the first-choice votes for each position. b. A candidate must receive a majority of the first-choice votes to be declared the winner of the race.”
These clauses would indicate that neither Prince nor Madden received enough of the vote to be declared the winner.
Prince received a narrow 49.5% of the votes in the first round, while Madden received 47% of the vote.
The Livnat campaign has petitioned the SGA Judiciary to review the bylaws and determine whether a runoff election is necessary.
The judiciary will be meeting on Wednesday the 20th to make this decision. A potential runoff election would ensue within a week of their choice.
This runoff would open the polls for one day, allowing students to vote between Prince and Livnat for President and Madden and Walker for Speaker of the Senate.
This voting system has only been in place for this election and the previous year’s election. All executive positions in last year’s election were uncontested, so this wrinkle in the bylaws never came up.
Rest of the ballot:
Freshman Devi Patel ran uncontested for the office of Executive Vice-President.
In a statement to The Signal, Patel stated, “This appreciated role will further my knowledge of government, and my leadership experience will contribute meaningful ideas to better our school’s atmosphere!”
“My goals include: fortifying environmental preservation, increasing public safety, and strengthening inclusivity. With implementation, Panther Pride will reach an all-time high, and our students will flourish into the best version of themselves.”
Multiple senators were also on the ballot. All but three undergraduate positions were filled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Sydney Barrett, Donatella Iyamu, Vy Vu, Zacchary Patton, Aryan Pandey, Charles Jones, Logan Ridley and Alvin Navarre will serve as representatives for Georgia State’s largest field of study.
The one graduate senate seat for the College of Arts and Sciences remains vacant.
Senator Emerald Gibbs will maintain her spot as the undergraduate senator for the College of Nursing & Health Professions.
The two undergraduate and one graduate senate seats for the College of the Arts had no candidates.
The one undergraduate and two graduate seats for the College of Education & Human Development had no candidates.
The one undergraduate and one graduate seat for the School of Public Health also had no candidates.
In the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, the one undergraduate senatorial seat between three candidates. Joshua Anthony, Joseph Nguyen and Joyita Davis.
In a single round of vote counting, Anthony won the seat with 61% of the vote.
The one graduate seat for the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies remains vacant.
At the Robinson College of Business, two of the seven undergraduate senate seats were filled by Gabriel Mercado and Blanca Martinez.
Casey Francois fills the one graduate seat.
If students are interested in being a part of SGA, vacant senate seats can be filled at any time of the year. Go to pin.gsu.edu to apply, or drop by the SGA office on the 2nd floor of Student Center West.
When the SGA Judiciary board comes to a decision, we will update you on if and when a runoff election will take place.