The SA constitution mandates that when five or more candidates run for a position, there will be a runoff
election between the two candidates who received the highest percentage of votes, unless one person receives a majority of the vote. Since there are only four candidates for SA president running this year, there will be no runoff.
A majority is needed to guarantee the elected person is the students? choice. A runoff election is the way to do this.
Runoff elections should be held whenever there are more than two candidates running for a position and no one receives a majority.
When there isn?t a runoff, the choice between multiple candidates creates an inaccurate display of student opinion. Given a choice between three people there may be two choices that split the majority of votes between each other. Thus the choice of the other minority wins. Were there a runoff, then this situation would be prevented as one candidate would have a majority.
Elections with multiple candidates often become popularity contests, with students voting for a candidate because of name recognition rather than policy initiatives. A runoff allows students a narrower focus on the issues at hand.
A runoff election is especially important in the situation that exists here on campus where so few students take part in SA elections. Last year approximately one quarter of students voted in the SA presidential election.
With such a small proportion of the student body opinion being voiced in the first place, it is especially important that the majority of that population agree on a president. A president who is chosen without a majority voting for them is not someone who should represent the entire student body.