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Friday, April 16, 2021
<p>Umair Asghar, an 18-year-old mechanical engineering sophomore, tests the new electronic voting system. Senators chose candidates from the Star Wars Party and the Fantasy Party.</p>

Umair Asghar, an 18-year-old mechanical engineering sophomore, tests the new electronic voting system. Senators chose candidates from the Star Wars Party and the Fantasy Party.

When he tested out Student Government's new electronic voting system Tuesday night, Senate President Micah Lewis chose the obvious candidate: Darth Vader.

The Sith Lord faced stiff competition from members of the Star Wars Party and the Fantasy Party.

Vader was unavailable to comment on Lewis' endorsement.

Lewis proposed the electronic voting system during the summer, and senators approved it June 7. This is the first time UF will use this system.

Student Body Treasurer T.J. Villamil estimated the switch will save SG about $25,000 per year.

Students will be able to vote at 10 on-campus locations during the SG elections on Sept. 27 and 28. Attendants will enter their UFID numbers, either by swiping their Gator 1 Cards or using other photo ID and manually entering the numbers.

Lewis said SG decided to restrict voting to certain computers for security and to make sure students don't pressure other students into voting.

When a student's information is entered, attendants will be able to see if that student voted previously at another location on campus, Reitz Union Systems Administrator Steven Bourdon said.

Students will then enter their GatorLink access information into computers, confirm their voting location districts and be taken to the voting screen for their districts.

The new voting method will also be more efficient than using paper rolls, said Acceleration.net Programming Director Ryan Davis. UF collaborated with Acceleration.net for the voting program.

"It's hard to keep big rolls of paper synchronized," he said.

Davis said cross-checking results will be much easier with electronic voting.

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There has been no word on whether attendants will use the Force to check results.

Umair Asghar, an 18-year-old mechanical engineering sophomore, tests the new electronic voting system. Senators chose candidates from the Star Wars Party and the Fantasy Party.

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