All 11 proposed amendments failed to pass during the Student Government elections Wednesday night as Impact Party claimed the executive ticket and all but two Senate seats.
The majority of Impact Party members arrived at the Reitz Union Breezeway shortly after 9:30 p.m. chanting, “I-M-P-A-C-T. Impact is for you and me.” UF Supervisor of Elections Eric Hobbs announced the results at about 10 p.m. Student Body presidential candidate Smith Meyers, vice presidential candidate Mario Agosto and treasurer candidate Revel Lubin, who all ran unopposed, won their positions.
In total, 6,869 students voted, with 4,482 ballots cast Tuesday and 2,387 cast Wednesday, Hobbs said. In Spring 2016, 10, 694 students voted, when Access Party ran an executive ticket against Impact.
With Impact not running a dentistry candidate, one write-in candidate, Galia Fakhri-Medrano, won with two votes, leaving Impact with 48 Student Senate seats. Independent candidate Pulkit Kumar Dhir, one of three, won one of 10 graduate Senate seats.
Kumar Dhir, who received the second highest number of votes for the graduate seats, said he wasn’t able to attend the announcement because he was working on a homework assignment.
“I’m excited, happy,” Kumar Dhir said. “It will deﬁnitely be hard because the majority of the people are Impact, but I look forward to pushing my ideas and having proper debates.”
Last Spring, students approved an amendment to allow online voting. But in Summer, SG’s Supreme Court overturned the amendment, along with three others. They were voted on again this election.
With 27.41 percent of students voting in favor of online voting, 11.56 percent against and 61.03 percent abstained, the amendment failed to pass. The UF Supreme Court ruled in Summer that abstained votes, which are neither a yes or a no, must be counted within the voting population against the amendment.
“With only 27 percent of the Student Body voting for online voting, it’s very clear the Student Body does not want it here at UF,” Meyers said.
Current UF Student Body President Susan Webster said her party absolutely advocated for online voting.
“It was the Impact Party leadership in the Senate that put it back on the ballot to vote for it,” Webster said. “It will be up to this next group of student leaders to figure out what the next steps are.”
Impact spokesperson Janae Moodie said she doesn’t think the unopposed executive ticket attributed to the lower turnout rate.
“I just believe every vote counts,” Moodie said.
The SG and Student Senate Facebook and Twitter pages didn’t advertise the election. Progress Party president Casey Witte said although all seven Progress candidates lost, the party won’t disappear.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Witte said. “A lot of the Student Body isn’t being listened to when you get down to it. Progress Party wants to give them a voice.”
The Impact Party walks to the Reitz Union Breezeway on Feb. 22, 2017, chanting “I-M-P-A-C-T. Impact is for you and me.” The Impact Party won 48 seats in the Spring 2017 election.