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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Appeal asks for Yell Leader vote recount

Vote tallies in the Senior Yell Leader elections have been called into question following a close race that ended in the election of all but one 5 For Yell candidate.
According to the reported results, Steven Lanz was the top overall vote-getter, garnering 3,860 votes to become the first Yell Leader who is not a member of the Corps of Cadets since 2012.
Four cadets — juniors Will Alders and Chris Wilder and seniors Kyle Cook and Zach Lawrence — were also elected. Incumbent cadet Ben Ritchie, however, was not.
A Judicial Court case filed by finance junior Gregory Lanier states that the reported numbers of 11,217 ballots cast and 11,369 votes counted are too similar, considering each student receives three possible votes for Senior Yell Leader.
“If there were 11,217 ballots cast, there was the opportunity for 33,651 actual votes to be cast (11,217×3.) Now logically, not everyone will use all three of their votes, however, the final vote tally should still be significantly higher than the 11,217 on the results,” the appeal stated.
With the results being so close, and a potential 22,282 votes going uncounted, a more precise recount is needed to determine the true winners of the race, the appeal states.
“It is my belief that only people who ranked a candidate in the No. 1 spot had their ballots counted. Their votes placed at No. 2 and No. 3 were irrelevant. This is contradictory to what should have happened — each voter’s ‘Top 3’ should count equally the same,” the appeal said.
Emma Douglas, the SGA election commissioner against whom the appeal was filed, said the problems stem from technological issues and work is being done to ensure the accuracy of the results.
“The Yell Leader race had more to do with the IT program that we use to run our elections,” Douglas said. “I’m talking to the IT department to see if it’s possible to [count the votes] the way that they want it, but I’m not an IT expert so that’s why I’m having a meeting with them.”
Douglas said she will cooperate fully and listen to suggestions to ensure the accuracy of the results and hear the true voice of constituents.
“We’re just wanting to make sure the elections are run in the most fair way possible,” Douglas said. “I’m more than open to any questions or suggestions as to how we can make that happen.”
Another appeal filed Sunday on Lanz’s behalf by Aaron Mitchell, Student Senate rules and regulations chair, argued Lanier’s case should be dismissed because it was improperly filed and fails to name the proper parties.
“As it stands, Steven Lanz won the Senior Yell Leader election,” Mitchell said. “Because of this, he has something at stake in the case. According to the rules, he deserves representation in J-Court.”
Chief Justice Brenton Cooper opted to consolidate the appeals — now titled Lanier vs. Douglas and Lanz — because of a “historically high concentration” of election-related cases. J-Court will consider two questions: whether to dismiss the case on the grounds it was improperly filed and whether the votes were counted incorrectly.
It will be heard at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Koldus 111.

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