By Kristen Griffith (Whetstone Staff Writer)
Kenny Ciccoli Jr. struggled to understand why he could not view the voting tallies after he lost the Student Government Association Presidential Election.
“A lot of my friends were asking me for the results,” he said. “I thought it was pretty weird the results weren’t available for everyone. So did the people who asked me.”
After the SGA election, Ciccoli said he was unsatisfied with voting process. He wanted to know how many more votes his opponent, Savannah Durham, beat him by in the race.
But SGA Adviser Dr. Cynthia Newton refused to show him.
“The reasoning is 2-fold,” Newton said. “To not humiliate the losing students, and to not discourage them from continuing to be involved or run again.”
Ciccoli said Newton’s reason is absurd.
“I don’t think it is up to anyone in particular to decide what your life lessons should be,” he said. “Even if I lost by 300 votes, I want to know.”
Ciccoli said if he was going to be discouraged from losing than he should not have ran in the first place.
Newton said SGA has never made public the final results of elections, well before she arrived at Wesley.
Former SGA President Tanner Polce confirmed this.
Polce served two terms as president, from 2010-2012. During his senior year, he monitored the voting with former director of student life Sarah Smith. He said no one asked to see the voting results.
Students wanted to see the Homecoming Court voting results, he said, but he doesn’t recall showing them.
“I don’t think we did, just because they stopped asking,” he said. “They asked once and never asked again.”
Newton is responsible for monitoring the voting along with the outgoing SGA President.
Newton said she added a third party to help monitor polls this year, but kept him anonymous.
“A third monitor was added this year to highlight the integrity of the process and guarantee that it was above reproach because a student had already intimated to me and others that they were planning to challenge aspects of the election,” she said.
Newton said the third monitor’s identity was not released so they would not be influenced or challenged about the election process or outcome.
Withholding the voting tallies was not the only thing Ciccoli found unsatisfying.
“A friend told me that she voted twice on different computers,” he said.
Ciccoli said after he voted on his phone, it would not allow him to vote again. But when he logged on to his computer, it let him vote a second time.
Newton said each student’s vote only counts once, even though it may appear differently.
“Each person’s response is uniquely tied to their email address, so only one vote is recorded per email,” she said. “I have personally tested this multiple times.”
Polce said if he was the adviser and he was not sure about releasing the results, he would “take it to Congress.”
“If the motion carried then I would show the results,” he said.
Newton also suggested bringing the issue to SGA.
“If a student has an issue with the process, the appropriate action is to bring a proposal a proposal to the SGA Congress and discuss it,” she said.
Ciccoli said he contacted Durham.
“I told the incoming president via text message of my thoughts,” he said.
Ciccoli ended up receiving the voting results from a mass email sent by Newton on April 8, one day after the SGA election winners were officially announced.