The Student Government Election Commission upheld the results of the fall Student Senate elections at a meeting Friday afternoon, despite alleged complications with the new electronic voting system.
The Students Party petitioned to have the results nullified on the basis that they are "a severe statistical anomaly," said Students Party member Jonathan Ossip at the hearing.
At the end of the hearing, Ossip announced the Students Party's intention to appeal the decision to the UF Supreme Court.
The appeal hearing is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday.
Supreme Justice Matt Michel said the location will be determined this morning. Students will be able to find the finalized hearing details on a notice in the SG office.
The Students Party wants to postpone the Student Senate's Tuesday vote on whether to validate the election results.
Senate Minority Leader and Students Party member Gillian Leytham filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.
Students were able to vote for Senate representatives on Tuesday and Wednesday. Fall elections are based on students' addresses, which are categorized by dorms or into districts.
Students Party members contested the results after they realized there was an increase of about 800 percent from last fall in voter turnout for District E, the commuter students' district.
Students who had their permanent home addresses filed with the registrar rather than their Gainesville addresses would have been placed in District E.
Reitz Union Systems Administrator Steve Bourdon said during Friday's hearing that 491, or about 92 percent, of the 535 District E voters cast their ballots before about 1 p.m. Tuesday.
At that time, Bourdon changed the location confirmation page - which students saw before they cast their ballots - to direct students to fill out affidavits with their addresses.
During Friday's hearing, Students Party members counted nine rules broken by elections staff and SG Supervisor of Elections Toni Megna. Ossip said the broken rules and the 535 students who voted under District E this year, up from only 65 last fall, are cause for an elections redo.
Megna declined to comment on the Election Commission's decision.
Ossip said Sunday that the question is whether students cast their ballots for the wrong districts.
"The blame game is irrelevant," he said.
Ossip said the implication that UF students are not intelligent enough to vote properly is "incredibly offensive to students."
Senate Allocations Committee Chairman Joe Pardo, who will represent the Student Senate in the UF Supreme Court hearing, said he thinks any discrepancy is a result of user error.
"I think it should be emphasized that we assume and democracy assumes a voter is educated," Pardo said.
Leytham, a law student, said Florida law mandates that in an electronic-ballot election, voters must be able to change anything on the ballots before they actually cast their votes.
UF's electronic voting did not allow students to go back once they had reached the candidate lists for their districts. Thus, students who realized they shouldn't be seeing the list for District E couldn't go back at that point.
Ossip said the numbers in District E make it clear that there was a problem.
"What's the harm of an investigation?" he said.
Senate minority leader Gillian Leytham and Jonathan Ossip of the Students Party review elections records at the election commission meeting Friday. The commission voted unanimously to validate election results. The Students Party has chosen to appeal the ruling.