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Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Student Government SG Generic
Student Government SG Generic

After debating for 30 minutes, the Student Government Senate decided a runoff election won’t happen during Spring Break.

Senators challenged a bill to change the dates of the SG Spring elections at a meeting Tuesday night. Despite the debate, the Senate ultimately approved the bill that would change the election dates from Feb. 26 and 27 to Feb. 19 and 20 in a vote of 60 to 17, Senate President Michael Murphy (Impact, District A) said at the meeting.

The change is necessary to ensure a runoff election would not occur over Spring Break, said Supervisor of Elections Henry Fair, who wrote the bill. A runoff would occur one week after the general election if an individual doesn’t receive a majority of the vote needed to win.

“I thought this was the best, most responsible decision for me to make on behalf of the students, the candidates, my election staff and myself as well,” Fair said.

A runoff election may not even be necessary, Senator Felipe Gatos (Inspire, District D) said.

SG’s legislative branch is responsible for upholding the SG constitution, which outlines the rules for the way the governing body works, Gatos said. The bill is not in line with the constitution because it changes the date of the election that is mandated to take place on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February.

“We believe this is a problem,” Gatos said. “We think the legislative branch has a duty to uphold the constitution.”

A change in the dates for SG elections has happened in past years, Senator Matthew Diaz (Inspire, District D) said. It may make more sense to create a permanent solution to the problem in the future, he said.

“As senators, I think it’s never a bad idea to dust off our old constitutions and make sure that everything’s in order,” Diaz said.

Contact Gillian Sweeney at gsweeney@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter at @gilliangsweeney

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