The midterm Student Government Senate elections have been delayed due to an oversight in the executive branch, an SG candidate said.
The original bill authorizing a $2,000 payment to Votenet Solutions, the company that operates the election software, was passed unanimously earlier this year in the Senate, but was never signed by President Courtney Parish, said Senate candidate William Nicks.
The problem occurred because “correspondence between branches [of government] did not execute in time,” said Vice President Mark Lombardi-Nelson. “We put the order in for voter software, by the time Tampa got it, it was too late.”
The Senate passed a second spending bill for the elections during the general assembly meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 19.
News of the delay was passed onto candidates in an email from Elections Supervisor Alexandria Portée at 7:41 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21, 19 minutes before the final deadline for candidates to submit required paperwork.
“Due to a delay in the approval purchasing for voting software the elections will have to be delayed another week (the exact day has yet to be determined),” she wrote.
Portée deferred all questions regarding the delay to Parish, who initially refused to comment on the situation.
The Crow’s Nest weekly story deadline is Saturday night. When informed of this Parish said she would respond to questions via email if she had time.
Parish has traditionally refused face-to-face or telephone interviews with the press, instead preferring to answer questions through email.
“I definitely have words for this topic,” she later wrote. She did not respond to an email asking for clarification by press time.
As of Saturday night, the SG website had also not been updated to reflect the delayed election.
Senate President April Parsons was briefed on the situation by the executive branch and was told the decision to delay the election was made to save $600 by running the election concurrently with USF Tampa’s midterm election.
The Senate hopes to fill 20 opens seats during the midterm election. If all 22 candidates complete the required paperwork by the new deadline, Oct. 26, the election will be competitive. Otherwise, it is unlikely that any candidate will lose his or her bid for a seat.