By Joe Wilson

It’s that time of year: if you check your student email, U of L students are able to vote in this year’s Student Government Association (SGA) election. Voting will close on March 2, 2023.

57 students in total have filed to run for SGA office, including posts on the executive cabinet, college councils, and the student senate. To see the full list of candidates, click here.

Candidates for the “Top 4” executive positions need to earn 40 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff election. The SGA Supreme Court determines the rules and procedures in the event of a runoff.

Changes to the rules

There are several changes to the SGA General Election Rules (SGAGER) related to election lawsuits. For example, candidates must file any lawsuit before the SGA Supreme Court releases the election results to the public. “That was a conversation that the executive board had, where they want students to come forward before the results so that way any kind of significant issues can be discussed at full length,” William Vonhandorf, the chief justice of the SGA Supreme Court, explained to The Louisville Cardinal.

Additionally, the Supreme Court is now prohibited from hearing “sua sponte” or outside evidence during lawsuit proceedings. This comes after the SGA Supreme Court handed down a controversial decision during last year’s election in which the justices independently discovered outside evidence of campaign rule violations. Now, the justices must only consider evidence submitted to them by the campaigns. Vonhandorf continued: “When something is brought to us, we are allowed to talk about it. But we are not allowed to go outside of the case to find records of an infraction.”

The election results will not be released to the public immediately. Once voting closes, candidates have a period of time to bring lawsuits for alleged campaign rules violations. After all election lawsuits are settled, the SGA Supreme Court will certify the election and release the results on its website by March 20th, 2023.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal //