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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

 A week ago, we were pleasantly surprised with our Student Government when a constitutional amendment to allow online voting was approved for the upcoming SG election ballot. Until this point, online voting has remained unconstitutional, and previous attempts to change this have all failed. A previous editorial voiced not only our surprise, but also our excitement at the chance to decide to make our right to vote so much more accessible with online voting.

But now, our excitement has died away because the fate of this amendment is jeopardized — for no discernible reason.

Today at 6 p.m. in Room 2103 in the Reitz Union, the UF Supreme Court will review not only slight changes made to the summary of the amendment, but also the amendment itself for reasons that are extremely unclear.

There is historical precedent of online voting being struck down by the UF Supreme Court. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that an online voting system in SG elections would be unconstitutional and similarly exhibited a concerning disregard for potential student input, because a suggestion for open discussion was overwhelmingly denied. However, this time, the Constitution itself is what you, the students, could be voting to amend.

One of our major concerns is that the students who have worked since October to get this amendment approved for the ballot, Global Vote, will not have the opportunity to defend their work in this meeting. How can the Supreme Court make a decision this crucial but not let Global Vote argue their case? And how can the Supreme Court revisit a decision they already made? — the day before the deadline to approve it, we’d like to add.

In trying to understand the impact of this meeting on the amendment’s place on the ballot, our reporters have been hung up on and ignored in their attempts to find out exactly what is going on — information to which we and the rest of the Student Body are entitled. We are enraged at the court’s blatant disregard for clarity, and we feel that this lack of transparency calls into question the true intentions of the meeting.

An amendment that would, without any doubt, increase voter turnout and allow students — including those enrolled in UF’s Pathway to Campus Enrollment program, exclusively studying online or studying abroad — the right to vote away from campus without dealing with an absentee ballot is under unnecessary scrutiny.

We at the Alligator call upon Associate Justices Joseph Lancos, Evan Malloy, Kelly Scurry, Jonathan Siragusa and Chief Justice Andy Schein to stick to their original decision and continue to support the placement of the online voting amendment on the ballot. Your decision will determine whether current and future Gators will have the ability to participate in SG elections. Your decision has the chance to allow for voting history at UF — and the chance for all Gators to have a voice.

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