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Mike Currie elected UISG president

Michele Danno // Published April 23, 2009 in Daily Iowan

Results from University of Iowa's recent Student Government election using instant runoff voting.

After accusations of cheating, backstabbing, name calling, and voting delays, Go Party was victorious in what UI Student Government President-elect Mike Currie called “the longest, hardest-fought campaign” in his three-year tenure.

Currie and JD Moran will be inaugurated on April 26 as president and vice president, respectively. Amanda Boleyn and John Rigby will serve as executive senators. Announced Wednesday night, the group won 54 percent of the votes compared with Your Party’s 46 percent.

Additionally, students elected 26 senators from Go Party and 11 senators from Your Party. L Party will not have any senators represented.

“It’s such a relief. We’re just ecstatic. I can’t even describe it,” Currie said. “Were really excited to work with everybody and get the ball rolling.”

Currie said the new administration plans on immediately “diving into” its 11 platform issues, which include bringing wireless Internet to all areas of campus, opening the library 24 hours, and expanding NiteRide. The party members also have plans to try to lock in tuition and amp up dorm recycling.

The grueling campaign began March 30 with Go Party, Your Party, and L Party vying to be the new UISG leaders. A technical glitch in the online voting system delayed the vote a week and required everyone to revote, possibly discouraging some students from participating, some observers said.

After this issue, 22.21 percent of the students voted, officials from Student Elections Board said. This is a marked decrease from last year, when 32.53 percent of the students voted.

The election was based on instant runoff voting, so the party with the least votes was eliminated first. The L party was knocked out in the first round, so those who voted for that party instead had their second-choice vote counted.

Your Party presidential candidate Emily Grieves said her group’s members still plan to be involved in UISG next year.

“A lot of our senators got elected, and there are a lot of ways to stay involved and get things done on this campus,” she said.

Currie said he is happy with the senators from Your Party who were elected as well.

Caitlin Ross, an elected Your Party senator, said she is still looking forward to serving on UISG despite her party’s loss.

“I’m sure it would have been a lot more fun if all my friends got elected with me,” she said. “But there are still a lot of issues that I can help out with and advocate for students on.”

L Party presidential candidate Ryan Kopf said, despite the defeat, he was happy to have had a chance to talk to students throughout his campaign.

“Were not discouraged,” Kopf said. “I believe we still have a lot of good ideas and there is still a lot we can accomplish. I really hope to see Mike and JD pick up on some of our ideas, and I wish them the best and congratulations.”

The senator to receive the most votes, Kyle Schwarz, admitted he had been pretty nervous leading up to the announcement.

“This was a highly contested race, and I really honestly didn’t know who was going to come out on top,” Schwarz said. “It was completely exhilarating and it was really just about the best outcome we could have asked for.”

Schwarz, who was a senator-at-large on the 2008-2009 government, added he thinks this administration has a better mix of senators.

“We’re really happy with the balance we have with returning senators, new senators, and fresh ideas, combined with the know-how of student government to start work right away,” he said.

All new officials will be sworn in April 26.