Nico Giro-Martin elected Class of 2027 President using new Ranked Choice Voting system

A Nico Giro-Martin ’27 campaign post. COURTESY PHOTO / NICO GIRO-MARTIN

Thursday, Sept. 28, the Class of 2027 elected Nico Giro-Martin ’27 as class president using a new ranked choice voting (RCV) system. Jason Zhou ’27, Jonathan Aspin ’27, Mayer Tawfik ’27 and Tyson Liverman ’27 were elected as senators. Giro-Martin secured 52.8% of the vote in the final round. 

According to his candidate statement, Giro-Martin aspires to make the transition to college for freshmen smoother during his tenure as president of the Class of 2027.

“I was just jumping up and down, so happy,” Giro-Martin said after learning of his victory. “My win, it’s truly amazing, with eight candidates, you never know what’s going to happen, but I’m so glad it worked out for me.”

For his top policy goal, Giro-Martin said he aims to create a distinct class culture for the Class of 2027 and increase transparency. 

“I really want to make sure that we first get a sense of who the Class of 2027 is, get to know each other,” he said. “Because we can’t really do anything as a group before we get that.”

Seven hundred and thirteen eligible voters in the Class of 2027 cast their votes for class president and class senators Thursday, representing 44% of the total class. This rate marks more than double the 17.45% turnout rate in the March election for Student Assembly president. 

All candidates for Class of 2027 senators were elected, since only four individuals ran for the four open positions. 

An international student, Zhou aims to increase international representation and connect new international students with international upperclassmen.

“It’s a marvelous thing,” Zhou said of his victory. “Looking forward to utilize my identity as an international student and as a freshman to enact real pragmatic changes for the fellow students.”

Aspin plans to create a comfortable environment for freshmen, especially for those out-of-state and international students. He spoke about his initial feelings following the announcement of the results.

“Honestly I just feel brilliant, it’s truly just incredible,” Aspin said. “Just to have an opportunity to serve the class like this, just awesome.”

Liverman, who focused his campaign on providing a voice for other students of color, recognized the history of discrimination which would have prevented his candidacy in previous years, as the College did not admit a Black student until Hulon Willis enrolled in a graduate student program in 1951.

“I felt proud,” Liverman said. “To be part of such a prestigious organization on a campus that would have once denied my presence.”

This election was the first to implement RCV following recommendation by the Senate to the Independent Elections Commission by the Senate as part of The Bolstering Ethics of Election Fairness (BEEF) Act in November 2022. This act recommends that RCV be used in any class presidential election with more than two candidates in the running. 

In RCV, voters rank multiple candidates in order of preference, instead of casting their vote for one candidate. If no candidate wins a majority of first-choice votes, then the candidate with the least first-choice votes will be eliminated, and the first-choice votes toward that candidate will be redistributed to the voter’s second choice candidate in a second round. This process continues until a single candidate receives a majority of votes. 

According to the BEEF Act, “RCV [Ranked Choice Voting] encourages candidates to reach beyond their support base, therefore resulting in outcomes that better reflect students’ preferences.” 

Sophie Kennedy '27 was eliminated in the final round of tabulation, when Giro-Martin reached a majority of the vote share at 52.8%

The SA Department of Data and Analytics tabulated the results. In an email to The Flat Hat, SA Secretary of Data and Analytics Varsha Gollarhalli ’25 gave further insights on RCV.

“The ranked choice voting system didn't have a significant impact on the results, as the winner had the most amount of votes from the beginning and would have been deemed the winner even without implementing rank choice voting,” Gollarhalli wrote. “Although rank choice voting didn't really play an impact on this election, I think that it is useful, and I could see it being more of use in the future and especially for elections with fewer Candidates.”

The newly elected members will attend their first SA Senate meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3.


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