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Thursday, October 06, 2022

Senators vote not to impeach supervisor of elections

<p>Senate President Andy Mason tallies votes during Tuesday's impeachment hearing for Supervisor of Elections Toni Megna. Senators voted that Megna did not follow eight elections rules but voted not to impeach her.</p>

Senate President Andy Mason tallies votes during Tuesday's impeachment hearing for Supervisor of Elections Toni Megna. Senators voted that Megna did not follow eight elections rules but voted not to impeach her.

In the third impeachment trial in UF Student Government history, the Senate voted Tuesday night not to impeach Supervisor of Elections Toni Megna.

Five Students Party senators drafted a resolution to impeach Megna on 13 elections codes they said she did not follow.

Senators voted that Megna did not carry out eight of the 13 elections rules in question, but each infraction failed to receive enough impeachment votes from senators.

Spring senators voted on the accuracy of each presented infraction. If two-thirds of the senators voted that an infraction was true, they then voted on whether that warranted impeachment. Impeachment also needed a two-thirds vote to pass.

Senator Gillian Leytham, the Students Party leader, was the only senator who voted that each of the eight approved infractions individually merited Megna's impeachment.

Student Senate President Andy Mason did not vote.

After the fall elections, Students Party members, including Leytham, appealed the results to the Election Commission and then the UF Supreme Court. They said computer error and Megna's incorrect elections procedures required an elections redo.

Megna did not attend the impeachment hearing, but Student Senate President Andy Mason read her statement. She said the impeachment was an "unreasonable request" and that some of the allegations against her were factually incorrect.

Megna did not return requests for comment after the hearing.

Before the votes, some of the resolution's authors addressed the Senate.

Leytham said the impeachment body was voting on the accuracy of the facts of the rules infractions.

Several senators said Megna is a student with other responsibilities.

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"We are all students, first and foremost," said Sen. Katie Waldman, who was recently chosen as the co-chair of a committee that will revise the elections codes.

Waldman also said the Senate failed to update elections codes to reflect the new voting system.

Throughout the voting, Leytham said senators who voted that an infraction did occur but did not count nonfeasance as a cause for impeachment contradicted themselves.

According to the definitions on the impeachment agenda, nonfeasance is "the non-performance of some act which ought to be performed."

Leytham said she thought the process was ridiculous.

"It defies logic," she said. "It's like saying, ‘Yes, you lied under oath, but no, that doesn't mean you committed perjury.'"

Senate President Andy Mason tallies votes during Tuesday's impeachment hearing for Supervisor of Elections Toni Megna. Senators voted that Megna did not follow eight elections rules but voted not to impeach her.

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