Correction crowns Nelson, Skoog
Yell leader runoff proves elusive for woman candidate
Published: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07
When the results of the senior yell leader elections came in late Tuesday night, Nelson Ingram was the only candidate to secure a spot as an outright winner with the then sole majority of the votes. A runoff for the remaining two slots was declared for Drew Nelson, Hunter Skoog, Josh Light and Samantha Ketcham.
The need for a runoff proved unnecessary when the Election Commission announced a mistake in calculating the voting percentage Wednesday. The errors were the result of the way the votes were calculated; instead of being divided solely by ballots cast for senior yell leader, votes were divided by the total ballots cast in the election overall — including votes cast for student body president, Residence Hall Association president, Student Senate, etc.
Kyle Jackson, commissioner for the Election Commission, said that once a concern was raised, the results were quickly assessed by the Election Commission and Information Technology, IT.
"This method of using the total number of voters who cast a vote in the specific race has been the procedure for several years, and [the miscalculation] was truly an oversight this year," Jackson said.
Once the miscalculations were corrected, the final results revealed that Ingram led with 61.98 percent, followed by Nelson with 52.06 percent and Skoog with 51.50 percent, while Light received 50.32 percent of the votes and Ketcham came in with 22.43 percent.
Jackson continued to say that, after the corrections were made, the next step for the Election Commission and IT was to check the results of the rest of the races.
"We spent an hour going over calculations from the other races to ensure the same mistake wasn't made for any of them and [found] that the senior yell race was the only one affected," Jackson said.
David Benac, current senior head yell leader, explained that because four candidates received a majority vote, the top three were chosen, per election regulations. This ruling culminated in Nelson and Skoog becoming the final two new senior yell leaders.
The news was broken to the candidates in a meeting called later Wednesday morning. Ketcham, who would have been the first female to reach the runoff stage, said that after the new results were presented, everyone was given time to digest and discuss them.
"Of course, I was a little disappointed … especially as it was exciting thinking [I'd] made it to the runoffs, … but at the same time, I'm very excited for the guys — I think they will represent us [Aggies] well," she said.
Nelson also expressed his thoughts on how Ketcham and Light were affected by the recalculated results.
"I think it's unfortunate that they [thought] they were going to have another shot and then this happened," Nelson said.
Nelson, a non-reg — not a member of the Corps — said he was relieved the campaigning aspect of the process was over, and excited at the prospect of joining Ingram and Skoog, both cadets.
"When Mr. Jackson told us the results, I was just happy to know I got to be part of the team. I really don't think [not being in the corps] makes me too different as the guys elected are all good friends of mine. I'm just really excited to get to serve with them," Nelson said.
Ingram also said that he didn't feel Nelson's non-reg status would have an affect on the group and that he, too, was excited about the coming year.
"We five are a team now, and we are all just ready to serve! I couldn't be more excited and ready to get started," Nelson said.