Student Government candidates vie for votes on final day of elections

Executive tickets for student government All In and Level Up are competing to make their respective visions of campus a reality. Photo credit: Anna Timmons

As student government elections come to a close, executive ticket candidates are doubling down their campaign efforts to gain as many votes as possible before the impending 11:59 p.m deadline on Feb. 20.

Both All In and Level Up, the two full executive tickets running, have garnered extensive groups of supporters representing dozens of organizations and demographics on campus. However, as learned by last year’s very close election between Empower U and the Switch Up, the winning ticket can be decided by less than 100 votes.

Of the 3,587 votes cast in the 2019 student government election, current President Emily Gossett received 52 percent of the votes, Vice President Millie Chokshi got 53 percent and Treasurer Jason Kaplan 51 percent. This came down to merely 35 votes for Kaplan, allowing the full ticket to take office.

With this in mind, Level Up’s candidates Randy Fitzgerald, Shirley Gelman and Louis Shaw, have been campaigning from morning until evening. On the final day of elections presidential candidate Fitzgerald said that his team began palm-carding at 8 a.m. and that they will likely continue to campaign until late tonight. Standing in the sun in 80 degree weather at the U statue and over by the Merrick fountain, the candidates engaged with voters as they headed to or from class by handing out palm cards and discussing the Level Up initiatives.

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Representing Level Up, student government presidential candidate Randy Fitzgerald encourages students to vote before the end of the election. Photo credit: Anna Timmons

“We’re going to work our hearts out today because we know it’s going to take every single last vote,” said Fitzgerald, a junior majoring in political science, international relations, economics and history. Given the work he and his running-mates have put in, Fitzgerald said he is very optimistic about Level Up’s chances of winning the election.

“Nobody has seen any of the results yet, but given the pulse of campus we feel good. We’ve worked our hearts out and we’ve tried our best to stay on message and talk about things that are affecting Miami Hurricanes every day,” he said.

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Candidate for vice president Jason Perez (right) is joined by dedicated supporters as they talk to students passing by. Photo credit: Anna Timmons

Similarly, the All In team got to an early start beginning at 9 a.m. over by the Merrick Fountain and ending the day at the U statue. Joined by several supporters and a speaker playing upbeat music, All In candidates Abigail Adeleke, Jason Perez and Amanda Rodriguez, held up posters, handed out palm cards and reached out to voters throughout the day.

“We’re really excited for the last day of campaigning. We think we’ve had a really strong finish,” said Perez, All In’s candidate for vice president and a junior majoring in political and communication studies. “I’m very proud of the work we’ve done, regardless of the results tomorrow. We know that we gave it our all and I’m very satisfied with that.”

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Executive tickets for student government All In and Level Up are competing to make their respective visions of campus a reality. Photo credit: Anna Timmons

Up until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 20, students can vote online on Engage either by ticket or for individual candidates for president, vice president and treasurer, as well as for open senate seats. Unless runoff elections are needed, results will be announced at 12 p.m. at the Lakeside Patio.