On Wednesday night, after days of unrelenting and scandal-stricken campaigning on Greene Street and social media alike, the 2019-2020 student government elections came to a close. Following the dramatic turn of events resulting in a runoff, it was announced that Luke Rankin was the official student body president-elect. In the days thereafter, many students in protest recognized Speaker of the Senate Patrick Ellis as the legitimate South Carolina Student Body President after the start of the 2019 UofSC election crisis.
The leading candidate opposing Rankin in the runoff, Lyric Swinton, rejected the results, saying that the election was critically flawed by irregularities in amount of Snapchat followers and most persistent campaigners asking if you’ve voted yet. Some analysts described the poll as a “show election” with the elections having the lowest free-donuts-to-votes turnover in the university’s democratic era.
Protests have begun to form with students in support of Ellis calling for a “transitional government”, with some Rankin loyalists attempting to assault attendees with rally towels and leftover promotional buttons. Inside the opposition, Ellis supporters are desperately trying to access the chicken minis and Juul pods being sent from neighboring allies. As Ellis encourages the protests, the student government has barred him from leaving the campus radius and has considered detaining him within Close-Hipp.
Sources close to the Speaker of the Senate say that Ellis intends to coordinate with opposing universities to gain control of the government, despite concerns raised about the motives of intervention from these bodies. Fellow University Student Government Associations have been called on to either reject or accept the results of the USC election, with Clemson supporting Ellis while the University of Georgia backs Rankin.
Ultimately, it is unclear whether Rankin will take office this month; the USC SGA does not seem to endorse the Rankin government as the rightful head of state, creating an unsure ground for the future of Gamecock democracy.