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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Voting system disputes delayed SA election results

This post was written by Hatchet news editors Ellie Smith and Jacqueline Thomsen.

The head of the Joint Election Committee said students voting in the wrong schools and a large number of write-in candidates slowed down the release of Student Association election results Thursday night. Results weren’t announced until nearly three hours after polls closed, long after the 10 p.m. deadline.

Natalie Cleveland, the chair of the JEC, said about 80 students cast votes for senators in schools that the University’s registration website did not recognize them to be enrolled in.

She said staff from the Center for Student Engagement individually checked the information of students who appeared to vote in the wrong school against more recent records, and found that only three students voted for senators representing a school they were not in.

“The good news is that GW students are clearly honest and frankly we don’t know if those three students were being dishonest,” Cleveland said.

She said that before the CSE compared the student records to ballots, members of the JEC had to vote on each of the 80 initially disputed ballots to decide if they would be counted or not, and that any votes by alumni were also not counted.

Cleveland said starting at about 10 p.m. on election night, one hour after polls had closed, CSE staff and JEC members of the JEC sifted through an “unprecedented” number of write-in candidates.

Cleveland said while this was the first year voting took place through Org Sync, the delays didn’t come from using the new system but from counting the large number of write-in votes.

“It wasn’t so much in the new system, it was just in the sheer number of write in candidates,” Cleveland said.

She added that there was a high number of write-in votes because not as many people registered to run for senate seats as in years past.

Erika Feinman won the SA presidential election with more than 53 percent of the vote.

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