That was all that kept Student Association presidential candidate Kyle Boyer from securing the SA’s top position Thursday night. But instead of claiming victory, Boyer will now face runner-up Julie Bindelglass in a runoff election in two weeks.
For a presidential candidate to win the SA election, they must garner more than 40 percent of all votes cast. Boyer received 39.97 percent of the 4,080 votes cast, missing the mark by one of the smallest margins in SA history.
Bindelglass garnered 23 percent of the vote.
“This is a big statement in a seven-person race,” said Boyer, a junior. “I think it’s a very clear statement about what our students want this year.”
Of the seven presidential candidates, sophomore Nick Polk took third place with about 17 percent of the vote. The other four candidates all received less than 5 percent.
Bindelglass, a sophomore, said she is excited to move on to the runoff election.
“I’m so excited about how the students have spoken,” she said. “We are now one step closer to taking our SA back.”
While Boyer and Bindelglass’ quest for SA office is not yet over, Jason Lifton clinched the executive vice presidential spot Thursday night, earning 58 percent of the more than 3,800 votes cast.
“I’m shaking right now,” he said in the minutes after the results were announced. “I really don’t know what to say.”
Though voting for the SA elections took place online, it took the Joint Elections Committee – an independent body which oversees the elections – more than three hours to tabulate the votes, creating a tense atmosphere in the Marvin Center’s Columbian Square, where the results were announced.
The candidates arrived at 9 p.m., shortly after the polls closed, with throngs of friends and supporters in tow.
Crowds grew larger and anticipation ran high as members of the JEC-released names of the victors in the SA Senate and Program Board contests. Tiffany Meehan was re-elected to the Program Board chair position.
Boyer, Bindelglass and Lifton – the three top executive candidates – are not only SA insiders but also members of Greek-letter organizations.
Lifton attributed a large portion of his success to his Greek-letter affiliation. He said he met with members of sororities and fraternities throughout the campaign, visiting their chapter meetings and discussing his ideas.
Boyer and Bindelglass will continue to campaign, handing out palm cards in Kogan Plaza to spread the word about their platforms and ideas for the office.
“I’m really looking forward to going out and meeting everyone over the next two weeks,” she said. “I’m going to keep doing the same thing I’ve been doing, telling people about my ideas and fighting for our SA.”
Heading into the two weeks before the next contest, Boyer said he also plans to continue with the same campaign he brought to last week’s contest.
“I’m going to go right back out there now and campaign hard,” Boyer said. “It’s the same game plan.”
Exiting the Marvin Center with the rest of the crowd a few minutes after midnight, Lifton was caught up in the excitement and celebration of his evening, which meant the end of a long campaign.
“I’m so excited right now,” he said, laughing. “I have a midterm tomorrow, so we’ll have to see how that goes after this.”
The run-off election will take place March 11 and 12.