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No winner decided by run-off election

Sonia Rao | Friday, February 16, 2007

Notre Dame will have to wait a little longer to find out who will be the next student body president after results from the run-off election proved indecisive Tuesday night.

As the two tickets – Liz Brown and Maris Braun, and Danny Smith and Ashley Weiss – listened, members of the Judicial Council announced that Brown/Braun received 48 percent of the 3,352 votes and Smith/Weiss received 46 percent, neither a 50 percent majority. The remaining six percent abstained from voting.

In the event that no ticket receives 50 percent plus one of the votes, the decision falls into the hands of the Student Senate. Each member will vote according to their dorm’s majority vote. The Student Senate will hold a closed meeting Sunday at 6 p.m. to determine their votes.

For the candidates, the indecision is almost too suspenseful.

Weiss described the last 48 hours as “crazy.”

“It makes it hard because both Ashley and I feel that we really just want what’s best for the student body and no clear majority makes it difficult to determine what students really want,” Smith added. “Either candidate would do a great job.”

Braun acknowledged that the vote is out of the candidates’ hands.

“At this point, whatever’s supposed to happen now will be,” Braun said.

Even in the hands of Student Senate, the process can be stressful.

“Whenever the vote goes to the Senate it gets a lot more personal because everyone knows the candidates a lot better,” Braun said. “But [votes according to dorm majority] will determine who’s fit to be the next leader.”

Of the student body, 1,067 freshmen, 1,046 sophomores, 761 juniors, 474 seniors and three fifth-year students cast their ballots.

Despite the seemingly unclear outcome, Judicial Council president Liz Kozlow said Thursday represented “a successful run-off election.”

Voter turnout remained relatively stable from Monday’s election, which had 3,492 ballots, she said.

“I hope that we raised awareness [about elections] and the debate had a very good turnout,” Kozlow said.

Whatever happens on Sunday, both tickets feel that the process has been excellent experience.

“It’s nice to see hard work pay off,” said Smith. “We pushed really hard.”

Braun said that looking back, it is nice to know that “you couldn’t have done anything more.”