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U. Penn-Dartmouth Voting Contest Ends In Tie

This story was written by Mara Wishingrad, Daily Pennsylvanian

On Nov. 4, most were happy to avoid a repeat of election night 2000 - the winner was clear.

The outcome of the University of Pennsylvania's voting competition with Dartmouth, however, is not as clear.

Although Penn initially claimed a win, Penn and Dartmouth student government leaders decided to call a tie earlier this week, according to Undergraduate Assembly chairman and senior Wilson Tong.

Tong and Dartmouth Student Assembly president Molly Bode agreed that Dartmouth won for overall turnout, while Penn won for on-campus turnout.

The confusion was caused by the different criteria the schools used to determine which college had a higher percentage of voting students.

When the contest was announced, the winner was intended to be the school with the highest percentage of registered, on-campus student voters, Tong said.

By this count, Penn was the winner. According to Penn Leads the Vote, about 96 percent of students who were registered on campus voted.

At Dartmouth, about 88 percent of students who were registered to vote in New Hampshire went to the polls on election day, according to The Dartmouth, Dartmouth's student newspaper. However, Dartmouth was also able to calculate the total number of students who voted by sending out campus-wide e-mails asking students if they voted absentee, Bode said.

According to Tong, Penn was not able to make a similar calculation.

In addition, Bode said she believed "the numbers we were getting were pretty inaccurate on both sides" because both schools' numbers were based on estimations.

"We didn't want to call something that was going to be an inaccurate call," she said, leading Tong and Bode to declare a tie.

"Basically it was a win-win because we both had really high turnout," Bode said.

Tong agreed, saying, "We are both very pleased with the outcome."

Penn Leads the Vote Executive Board member and junior Annassa Corley said the competition helped turnout in that "students who were aware" of the competition "thought about it on election day."

However, she added that PLTV "didn't monitor" the competition-based turnout so "we don't actually know how much of an impact it had."

Both schools are planning to make plaques to commemorate their high turnouts, and Tong and Bode will each wear the other school's apparel in acknowledgment of the tie.

Under the original plan, the loser was supposed to wear the winning school's clothing for a week.

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