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Student body election results to be announced tonight

By the end of today, the student body may know its next student body president and vice president.

The Student Government (SG) Election Rules Committee (ERC) will host an announcement party beginning at 8 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center Room 3707. Supervisor of Elections James Bodden said the ERC plans to announce the voting results at 9:30 p.m. during the party.

If any of the six tickets capture more than 50 percent of the vote by the time voting ends at 8 p.m., USF will have its new president- and vice president-elects. But if no ticket receives more than the 50 percent of the votes, a run-off election will pit the top two candidates against each other and students would get a second opportunity to vote from 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 6, to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, Bodden said.

Bodden said the ERC has not faced as many voting complications this year as in the past. In 2011, a server for Votenet Solutions, which conducts SG elections using its eBallot software, stopped functioning, which interrupted the software for two half-hour periods over the span of two days. In 2010, complications occurred when students enrolled in multiple colleges were allowed a vote for each of their colleges, creating the opportunity to vote for a candidate more than once.

“The only problem we had this week was today voting dropped off at about noon, but we actually called Votenet and they said everything was clear on their end,” Bodden said. “Then we contacted USF’s (Information Technology) department, which was having a problem. I think they had too much voting, but they got it resolved in 15 minutes.”

As of 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, 6,064 students had voted in the election – a new record, Bodden said. The previous record was set last year, when 6,001 students voted during the same four-day voting period. While Bodden said he is proud of this year’s turnout, he predicts voting will fall short of SG’s goal of 10,000 voters.

“We’re definitely going to strive for every vote toward 10,000,” he said. “But in the waning hours of the election, that might be out of reach.”