In the Undergraduate Student Government election bylaws, “there is nothing that’s stated that there couldn’t be a vote of ‘No Confidence,’” Will Hackett, a junior biomedical engineering major and the original advocate for this particular voting option on USG ballots, said in an exclusive interview with The Stony Brook Press.
No Confidence is an option granted this fiscal year for the USG elections to vote not to vote.
Several prominent positions, including president and vice president, are scheduled to proceed to runoffs. Runoffs are held between the top two candidates for a position, excluding any other candidates, in hopes that one of the two remaining can obtain a majority of the votes.
“I didn’t even expect this,” Hackett said. “I expected people to see the idea and understand the idea I was getting, make active changes in themselves and also to the people that did get elected to say, ‘Hey, there’s a significant portion of the population that does disagree with how USG is run.’”
In previous elections, when there were only two candidates running for a given position to begin with, one of them would win outright unless there is a stalemate. This year, however, with the addition of the No Confidence option, neither candidate was able to claim the majority in four positions with only two candidates. Potentially, two candidates could have each received 49 percent of the votes, and 2 percent by No Confidence, and, in this case, a runoff would ensue because a majority vote is required to be elected.
The following votes were inconclusive:
President- James Alrassi vs. Cole Lee
Executive Vice President- Luo Luo Fang vs. Krisly Zamor
VP of Communications- Brody Hooper vs. Jason Mazza
VP of Student Life- Nathan Blazon-Brown vs. Fiqry Kleib (Christopher Smith was removed from the ballot.)
VP of Clubs and Orgs- Chinelo Obinero vs. Bryan Michel (Elmer Flores and Raisa Nishat were removed from the ballot.)
VP of Academic Affairs- Danielle Ali vs. John Mele
“The people that were worried about No Confidence winning are the ones who have to look at it and admit that there’s a problem when they can say that there are enough people that are annoyed with it [the USG election process].”
The runoff ballot will commence May 4, consisting of only the top two candidates of each undecided position.