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Monday, August 08, 2022

Three students have come forward claiming to have voted multiple times during this week’s Student Government election.

Jonathan Ossip and Kier Lamont, students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Ian Seabrook O’Connor, an engineering student, said they cast eight ballots between them Tuesday.

Ossip said he and Lamont voted at each of the three polling locations available for CLAS students, while O’Connor voted at the two polls open to engineering students.

The Alligator is in the process of filing a public records request for the voter rolls for this election cycle.

Ossip said they did not cast legitimate votes for candidates on the ballots, but instead wrote in the name of a 20th-century English women’s rights activist and signed their names so the ballots could be traced back to them.

Ossip said he had heard of students casting two and three ballots in previous elections and wanted to test the security and expose the flaws of the current voting system in which students fill out paper ballots.

“This was going to go undetected until somebody made a deal about it,” Ossip said. “It definitely shows the need for an electronic database to keep track of voting.”

According to Supervisor of Elections Amanda Griffin, the SG office staff is checking voter lists this week for any inconsistencies or students who cast more than one ballot, like it does every semester.

If any students are found to have cast more than one ballot, they will be referred to the Student Body Supreme Court, according to SG election codes.

Student Body Supreme Court Chief Justice David Nigliazzo said the court will usually refer those students to the Dean of Students’ Office because it is considered an offense against the Student Body.

He said there have been instances of students double-voting in the past, but only one or two people at a time. Elections have been invalidated before, but not in recent years.

Nigliazzo said he has not yet heard of any students violating election rules this semester, but expects the SG office staff to finish checking the records by sometime early next week.

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“As of right now nothing has been brought to my desk,” he said.

The Student Senate will vote to validate the election results during Tuesday’s Senate meeting.

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