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Friday, March 01, 2024

Today at 5 p.m. in room 285C of the Levin College of Law, Tyler Richards and I will argue before Student Government’s Supreme Court and make the case to restore the remote-online-voting amendment the Student Body passed last Spring. During Summer, the court recalled this amendment and three others after re-interpreting the vote-tallying language in the Student Body constitution, arguing those who voted in the elections for president or Student Senate but abstained from voting on the amendment should be counted against the 60-percent approval required to pass.

Although we strongly disagree with its interpretation and will argue against it, we are also concerned the court justices decided to use this opportunity to change parts of the constitution. The judicial branch can interpret the constitution, but only the Student Body can amend the constitution, and it must do so in an election.

Although we recognize the current court would not have allowed these four amendments to become part of the constitution, it is too late for it to change history and impose its new interpretation on events of the past.

Legally, the only way the court can make the results of past elections comply with its new rules is for SG to ask the Student Body if they want to remove the amendments in question during the Spring elections. The constitution simply does not allow for itself to be changed at any other time.

To make this retroactive decision will set a dangerous precedent: empowering unelected officials to do something only voters should be able to do.

Austin Young is a founding member of Global Vote: The UF Coalition for Remote Voting.

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