Chiquita Watts was declared the winner of the race for Undergraduate Student Government president Sunday, four days after the election was called a tie.
Watts and her running mate Vincent Hardy defeated opponents Dave Loftus and Steven Turner by a 35-vote margin, said Election Commissioner John Teresi.
“I don’t want to see another paintbrush, another piece of chalk,” said Hardy, speaking of his extensive campaign efforts. “I’m so tired of hearing my last name.”
Teresi said 75 votes for USG president and vice president were originally invalidated because some parts of the Scantron ballots were filled out incorrectly. For instance, Teresi said, if a student indicated that he lived on the east side of Carbondale but then voted for a senator on the west side, that student’s entire ballot was not counted.
Teresi and three members of the election committee counted the ballots by hand, while the candidates watched. Former election commission member Ed Ford, a graduate student from Carbondale, was absent after Teresi removed him from the commission. Ford would neither confirm nor deny reports that he had repeatedly campaigned while working the polls.
The recount took about half an hour.
Loftus, a sophomore from Princeton studying political science, said he would not challenge the results of the election and looked forward to working with Watts and Hardy.
Watts, a junior from Chicago studying finance, said she wanted to reform USG by adding more scrutiny to the senate’s appointment process, while Hardy, a sophomore from Chicago studying business, said his first goal would be to reform the finance committee.
Watts and Hardy were united in a lack of hard feelings toward their opponents.
“When you think about it, it’s just student government elections. There’s no need to take shots at each other because we all -” Hardy began.
“- are still working for the same thing,” Watts finished.
Allison Petty can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 259 or [email protected]