Ignite Iowa wins UISG election

Noel Mills and Sarah Henry were elected as UISG president and vice president, with a majority of voters ranking Ignite Iowa as their top choice.

UISG+president-elect%2C+Noel+Mills%2C+and+vice+president-elect%2C+Sarah+Henry%2C+celebrate+winning+the+2019+UISG+Executive+ballot+at+the+IMU+on+Monday%2C+April+8%2C+2019.+Ignite+Iowa+received+the+majority+of+votes+at+1%2C568+or+53.28%25.+%28Alyson+Kuennen%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
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Ignite Iowa wins UISG election

UISG president-elect, Noel Mills, and vice president-elect, Sarah Henry, celebrate winning the 2019 UISG Executive ballot at the IMU on Monday, April 8, 2019. Ignite Iowa received the majority of votes at 1,568 or 53.28%. (Alyson Kuennen/The Daily Iowan)

UISG president-elect, Noel Mills, and vice president-elect, Sarah Henry, celebrate winning the 2019 UISG Executive ballot at the IMU on Monday, April 8, 2019. Ignite Iowa received the majority of votes at 1,568 or 53.28%. (Alyson Kuennen/The Daily Iowan)

Alyson Kuennen

UISG president-elect, Noel Mills, and vice president-elect, Sarah Henry, celebrate winning the 2019 UISG Executive ballot at the IMU on Monday, April 8, 2019. Ignite Iowa received the majority of votes at 1,568 or 53.28%. (Alyson Kuennen/The Daily Iowan)

Alyson Kuennen

Alyson Kuennen

UISG president-elect, Noel Mills, and vice president-elect, Sarah Henry, celebrate winning the 2019 UISG Executive ballot at the IMU on Monday, April 8, 2019. Ignite Iowa received the majority of votes at 1,568 or 53.28%. (Alyson Kuennen/The Daily Iowan)

Rylee Wilson, News Reporter

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Ignite Iowa clenched victory in the University of Iowa Student Government election by a large margin, with over half of voters ranking them as their first choice.

Noel Mills and Sarah Henry were elected as student body president and vice president, with 55.5 percent of voters ranking Ignite Iowa as their top choice.

Two other tickets — Inspire UI, led by Alexia Sánchez and Madhuri Belkale, and UI Charge Party, led by Dady Mansaray and Adi Arou — ran in the election.

The amount of undergraduate students who voted in the election totaled 2,913, for a turnout rate of 13.05 percent.

Alyson Kuennen
UISG president-elect Noel Mills reads the 2019 UISG Senator Ballot results at the IMU on Monday, April 8, 2019. Ignite Iowa received the majority of votes at 1,568 or 53.28%.

Thirty senatorial candidates were elected — 19 from Ignite Iowa and 11 from Inspire UI. No candidates from UI Charge party were elected.

Independent candidates Jacob Heid and Teagan Roeder were elected as well. Five additional independent-senator seats will be filled by the nominations committee in fall 2019, along with five first-year senators.

Ignite Iowa ran on a platform of transparency, equity, and sustainability, with 19 senatorial candidates. All senators from the Ignite ticket were elected.

Mills previously served as UISG’s finance director, while Henry served as a senator.

Henry said a top priority for her administration is increasing transparency within UISG.

“There’s been feedback from people that ran on other parties and across campus that they felt that the election system is kind of elitist, and they felt that the organization as a whole is elitist,” Henry said. “We definitely agree that there’s so much work that can be done to make UISG more transparent and accessible.”

RELATED: Ignite Iowa plans to bring change to the UI through transparency and equity 

Alyson Kuennen
Darian Thompson celebrates being the first elected senator on the 2019 UISG Executive ballot at the IMU on Monday, April 8, 2019. Ignite Iowa received the majority of votes at 1,568 or 53.28%.

Mills said an additional priority is developing relationships with administrators.

“As far as other initiatives, I think definitely working to build up relationships with administrators over the summer so that by the time students hit campus in the fall, we’re rock solid ready to go to start making some real change,” she said.

Henry also mentioned changing the way students access voting in order to increase turnout.

“One thing that a lot of other Big Ten schools do is that they actually just email the voting link to students on voting day. I think it’s a really good idea because then it’s just there, you don’t have to seek it out,” she said.

Both Inspire UI and Ignite Iowa received demerits for campaigning, leading to a 3-percentage point reduction from their total point total, according to elections commissioner Sidney Martinez.

Both Inspire UI and Ignite Iowa left chalkboard art promoting their campaigns up in the IMU after the official campaigning deadline of 7:30 p.m. on April 2. The demerits only extended to executive candidates, not all senators on the ticket.

Alyson Kuennen
UISG president-elect, Noel Mills, and vice president-elect, Sarah Henry, celebrate winning the 2019 UISG Executive ballot at the IMU on Monday, April 8, 2019. Ignite Iowa received the majority of votes at 1,568 or 53.28%. (Alyson Kuennen/The Daily Iowan)

Martinez said clarifying campaign rules, as well as requiring tickets to plan their campaigns early, could help make the election process more straightforward.

“Really revising what is a priority in what should be prohibited. I know there’s a lot of stumbling steps for the definition of early campaigning. That is where the brunt of our complaints came from. I think either clarifying the code, what that means — I think it’s a little bit vague still,” she said.

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