The UF Supreme Court decided not to invalidate the fall Student Government election procedures after a hearing Monday night.
The Court also lifted the injunction stopping the Senate from voting on whether to validate the elections results. Senators are expected to vote at tonight's meeting.
Petitioners Jonathan Ossip and Gillian Leytham, both Students Party members, recommended the Court order new elections.
Chief Justice Matt Michel and Associate Justices Cecily Welsh, Georgia Buckhalter and Tim Mason decided there was not enough harm done in errors during the elections to invalidate the results and order a re-vote.
Mason and Welsh, in particular, voiced fears that a re-vote might do more harm than good.
However, they did state their collective intention to release guidelines to the Senate to revise and clarify elections procedures.
"This wasn't enough," Mason said during deliberations.
The fall SG Senate elections procedures came into question when the Students Party filed complaints that the results were flawed because some students may have voted in the wrong district.
Fall elections are based on location, determined by ZIP code or residence hall.
Students who only had their permanent addresses filed with the registrar, not their Gainesville addresses, would have been placed in District E. District E is for commuter students and includes all ZIP codes except those specified in Districts A through D.
Early in the afternoon of the first day of voting, Sept. 27, the voting screen for District E was changed so that students were required to fill out an address affidavit before voting.
Prior to this change, the pre-voting screen listed the voter's district and presented the option to either vote in that district or fill out an affidavit to change addresses.
In the 2010 fall elections, 65 students voted in District E. That number jumped to 535 students for the 2011 fall elections.
Ossip used those numbers in his argument for an elections redo. Ossip said he wanted to disregard the "blame game" and focus instead on students' right to fair elections and on the voting numbers.
"The numbers simply do not lie about what the average voter experienced," he said.
Ossip and Leytham plan to appeal the decision to the administration, Leytham said.
"I think that the court's decision was shameful," she said. "And I think that it was purely political."
At the hearing, members of the Election Commission presented the investigation report that the Supreme Court ordered them to prepare. The petitioners and respondents, as well as the justices, were able to question the present commissioners.
After the petitioners and respondents made their closing arguments, the justices questioned them and deliberated their decision.
Unite Party Senator Joe Pardo spoke on behalf of the respondents, including the Senate and Supervisor of Elections Toni Megna. Pardo said he expects the Senate to validate the elections results tonight.
"I'm completely satisfied with the court's decision," he said.
Pardo said he plans to work with Students Party senators to come up with guidelines for future elections.
UF Supreme Court Associate Justice Tim Mason questions members of the Election Commission during Monday night's hearing. The Court decided to lift the injunction that had postponed the Student Senate's vote on whether to validate the Student Government elections.