A UF Student Government party will have to win more than 50 percent of the student vote to avoid a second election next week.
If none of the three parties — Challenge Party, Impact Party or Inspire Party — win a majority of the vote Tuesday and Wednesday for its executive tickets, no winner will be selected. Instead, there would be a runoff election for Student Body president, vice president and treasurer between the two parties with the most votes next week, on Feb. 27 and 28.
Because the treasurer is voted on separately from president and vice president, it is possible to have a treasurer runoff election, but not a president and vice president runoff — and vice versa.
If there is a runoff, it would be the first in 13 years for the presidential and vice presidential ticket and the first in 12 years for the treasurer ticket.
The Student Body Constitution mandates that a runoff election be held the Tuesday and Wednesday immediately following the Spring general election in the event that no party wins a majority of the vote, according to Article VI Section 4.
Since 2000, only five Spring elections have had more than two parties with a full executive ticket, including president, vice president and treasurer candidates. Of these multiparty elections, three of the five resulted in runoff elections for the president, vice president and treasurer. Two resulted in a runoff for treasurer only, according to SG election results records.
This Spring is the first election since 2009 that there has been more than two parties running executive candidates.
Jamal Sowell, UF’s most recent black Student Body president in 2004, won in a runoff race between the independent party he started, Access Party (which has no affiliation with the Access Party formed in 2015), and the majority party Innovate Party.
In 2005, there was a full runoff election including all three executive positions. In 2006, there was a runoff for treasurer only.
Sowell said he thinks if the race turns into a runoff, an endorsement from the losing party to one of the parties advancing could play a big factor in the race.
On Feb. 25, 2004, when no executive ticket won a majority, the losing party, the Keg Party, endorsed Sowell and the Access Party the night results came out, Sowell said.
“I think that’ll be the most intriguing thing,” the 35-year-old said. “It’ll show students where people’s loyalties are and who has the best ideas.”
Omarley Spence, Impact president, said that if Impact lost, his party’s leadership would meet with the runoff parties’s leaders to decide if they would support Challenge or Inspire. Inspire Party could not be reached for comment.
Wayne Selogy, Challenge’s campaign manager, said the party has not discussed who it would endorse in the event of a runoff.
“The possibility of not winning has not crossed our minds,” he said.