SGA Sound Off: Run-Off Begins Amidst Candidate Disqualification

Another election season, another season of election mayhem! From the chalk decor freshly sprouting all over campus to the pictures and videos of candidates in their million dollar smiles — there’s nothing quite like awaiting SGA Election results that cause my heart to skip a few beats and my eyes to be glued to my email.

First, let me be one among many to congratulate the two  newest members of the Senate: First Year Senators  Rana Ahdelhama and Danny Zhang! All of the candidates were clearly devoted to both student government and their class, and Blake, you made a great campaign.

Second, as you may know, the race for the Presidential title is still going as none of the five candidates were able to secure a majority of the vote. To then determine the winner, a run-off election is taking place from Noon Thursday- Noon Friday, so be sure to vote again! ASAP! Nathan LaBarba ’14 and Vin Recca ‘12 (additional site at go/recca) will be facing off for the Presidential title.

However, amidst the Presidential Race, some students were curious as to the delay of the result release. This was clarified in the all-student email sent releasing the results and the upcoming run-off. Due to alleged violations of campaign rules brought against Presidential Candidate Mugo Mutothori, the Election Council held the release until they reached a decision.

The Council decided to disqualify the candidate due to “violations of campaign rules… campaigning once polls open.” This was described as a “direct violation of the Section VI: Campaign rules, Articles 4 and 5,” articles stipulating that all campaigning must occur during the official campaign period, ending at the beginning of the voting period. Article 5 specifically defines what ‘campaigning’ is.

On a more positive note though, this was a recent high in voter turnout, with 1049 people voting! On my rough estimate of approx. 2,600 students here at Middlebury… that would make for nearly a 40% voter turnout. Whether due to the caliber of the candidates, the excitement of a presidential election on the heels of a resignation, or just more interest in SGA — it’s a heartening change. Let’s pull an even higher vote for the run-off, and maybe in the spring we’ll reach 90% (heck, a gal can dream, right?). Go/vote by noon today!