In recent posts, this space endorsed Will Hix '12 in his race for Student Assembly president. In addition to his bona fides as a campus leader and considerable gravitas, we believed that Mr. Hix's candidacy constituted a valuable cause for the student body. An egregious decision by the S.A. election board ruled that any student who had run afoul of Parkhurst was barred from holding office. Mr. Hix, who was once arrested for consuming alcohol underage, was thus ruled ineligible.
Mr. Hix launched a write-in campaign and performed quite well, securing 37 percent of total votes cast, compared with 39 percent for Max Yoeli and 24 percent for Aaron Limonthas. Given his contentious battle with the election board, this is an impressive feat.
In a sense, however, we at LGB understood our endorsement to be in vain. Even had Mr. Hix won in vote totals, he would not have been permitted to take office. So why endorse Mr. Hix at all?
A Likely Counterfactual
First, it is likely that Mr. Hix would have won this race had the election board not barred him from the ballot. The margin separating him from the winner, Mr. Yoeli, was quite thin (48 votes). As a general rule, write-in campaigns are particularly difficult since, among other things, casting a write-in ballot is more arduous than simply selecting a name already displayed. Write-in ballots are also more likely to be incorrectly apportioned due to spelling mistakes or voter misunderstanding.