Student Government: Changes made to voting in SG elections

When it comes time to vote for student body president and vice president, students will not be able to vote from their personal computers if they are on campus.

The Student Government Senate passed 21 amendments to its election code, Title 7, last night. One of the main amendments will allow students to vote at several polling locations on campus or with their personal computers off campus.

However, students won’t be allowed to vote with their laptops at any on-campus location, such as a residence hall, because they might be able to vote more than once, said Rules Committee Chair Bruno Portigliatti. That means if a student wants to vote on campus, he or she must go to an SG polling station.

After four weeks of discussion, the bill passed with a supermajority of the vote, as more than 30 of the 34 senators present approved it.

Students, however, do not seem to share the sentiments of the senators.

“That is bulls—. This is a cost-efficiency move by the senate and it is just not fair to the students,” said sophomore Kyle Beachy, a management major.

Senior Pete Manos, a sociology major, said he thinks this move will restrict voting because people will not want to take the time to get out and vote at a polling station.

Some USF students agreed, saying they feel “neglected” by the senate’s amendments to the election code.

Sophomore Christian Marble, an international studies major, said the move was ridiculous.

“The senate basically has changed the entire voting procedure of the student body without consulting anyone, seeking any feedback or handing out any surveys,” he said.

Senate President Juan Carlos Soltero said a lack of voter turnout was his main concern when discussing the amendments, which he initially opposed.

“A lot of students may not understand what Title 7 is about and see things as black or white,” he said. “We are not restricting their ability to vote. We are making sure that every vote that is cast is cast the right way for the student that really does care about the elections.”

Soltero said there have been candidates who acted unethically or illegally during elections, and that Title 7 was enacted to help prevent this.

Portigliatti agreed with Soltero, saying the amendments needed to be passed.

“We are looking at an improved election where candidates won’t have to worry about how other candidates get their votes,” he said.