Wise, Choi face runoff for YCC

Yale College Council presidential hopefuls Emery Choi ’07 and Larry Wise ’08 will compete in a run-off election to be held on YaleStation from Thursday at 9 a.m. until Friday at 9 p.m.

The two candidates came within seven votes of one another. Wise placed first with 847 votes — 29.87 percent of total ballots cast — while Choi received 840 votes, or 29.62 percent of the total. Undergraduate Organization Funding Committee chair hopefuls Ned Mitchell ’09 and Hassan Siddiq ’08 came in 73 votes apart and will also compete in this week’s run-off.

The winners of the other races were: Steve Engler ’07 for vice president; Zach Marks ’09, who ran unopposed, for secretary; Priya Prasad ’08 for treasurer; and Mike Lehmann ’08 for Yale Student Activities Committee chair. A total of 3,020 votes were cast this year, a 12.2 percent decrease from last year’s unprecedented turnout of 3,440 voters.

YCC President Steven Syverud ’06 said the margin between the top two presidential candidates was probably the closest in the council’s history.

“I think everyone expected it to be an unbelievably competitive race,” Syverud said. “They are both really strong candidates, and it’s really too bad that one of them has to lose.”

Choi said he was not surprised by the closeness of the race considering the number and caliber of the candidates.

“I think it is great that there were so many well-qualified candidates,” he said. “I feel lucky to still be in the race.”

Wise could not be reached for comment on Wednesday night.

YCC Vice President and Election Committee Chair Marissa Brittenham ’07 said the presidential race was much closer than last year’s, in which Syverud earned a landslide victory, garnering 56 percent of the votes cast.

Although last year’s election drew 420 more student voters, Brittenham said she does not think the smaller number of voters is a comment on the work of the current Executive Board.

“I think it really reflects a lot more on the candidates’ efforts,” she said. “That’s the reason that voters come out. It’s not because of their impression of the YCC.”

Presidential candidates Bill Fishel ’08 and Wells O’Byrne ’07, who placed third and fourth respectively, said they plan to continue their work on the council next year. Both expressed confidence in the remaining candidates.

“It will be a great race,” O’Byrne said. “They are both really committed to the YCC.”

This year’s election season was characterized by a number of violations of campaign rules and regulations. All five presidential candidates and four others were penalized as the Election Committee stepped up enforcement efforts this year. The e-mail privileges of O’Byrne and Siddiq were revoked for serious violations concerning the use of e-mail, while the other candidates were cited for lesser infractions, including illegal postering and false advertising of endorsements.

Brittenham said the runoff candidates are allowed to continue their e-mail campaigns through Friday, but as of Tuesday night, the Election Committee had not decided whether the candidates will be permitted to spend more money or make additional printed campaign materials.

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Sophie Perl
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