YT ballot errors had no effects

Although balloting for the Feb. 20 Young Trustee election left one vote uncounted, it did not affect the election's outcome, Young Trustee Nominating Committee members said.

"The vote was very close, but the outcome was clear even if votes had been discarded," said senior Genevieve Cody, Duke Student Government's vice president for community interaction and chair of the YTNC.

In the Young Trustee election, votes are evenly split between members of DSG and the Intercommunity Council.

Three ballots lacked necessary identifying information, Cody said. All three votes, however, were for senior Ryan Todd, the winner of the election, she added.

Based on attendance numbers, Cody said she was able to identify that at least one of the unspecified ballots was from DSG and one was from ICC. Because all three votes were for the same candidate, two ballots were counted accordingly. The third ballot could not be attributed and was therefore excluded.

The two unmarked votes only widened the margin by which Todd won the election, Cody said. Todd had already won through a runoff which took into account voters' preferences for candidates by ranking the three candidates instead of simply choosing one.

"Technically, I'm supposed to make a final vote [in the case of a tie], but I'm not comfortable with that, so I had all DSG and ICC members weigh their responses," Cody said.

DSG's Executive Vice President Jordan Giordano, a junior and former chair of the YTNC, said the ranking method is often used for Young Trustee elections because it allows for a runoff to make the final selection.

Todd, who is also the president of Campus Council, said he was not surprised the vote was close and the runoff was enacted, adding that besides the unmarked ballots, the election process was flawless.

"I think all the candidates would say it went really smoothly," he said. "That's the only hiccup with the process I can think of."


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