University revokes victory of DeSantis supporter who won student election

University revokes victory of DeSantis supporter who won student election
Image: YouTube screen grab

The student government and college bureaucrats at the University of South Florida recently overturned the results of a student body president election, revoking the victory of the conservative ticket and handing the win to the progressive runners up.

The March election victory of Sebastian Solano and Jessica Malanga for USF student body president and vice president was rescinded by the Student Government Supreme Court, and that decision was then upheld by Dean of Students Danielle McDonald.

The student supreme court and dean of students agreed that Solano and Malanga had set up an illegal polling site on campus as the reason for overturning the election results, however it was not a polling site under the most natural reading of campus rules, and the finding by the Dean and student supreme court was based on vague and confusing rules.

Malanga is a former intern for Republican Ron DeSantis’ gubernatorial re-election campaign. She had objected to a student government resolution condemning DeSantis’s opposition to sex changes for youth.

The student who held the position of supervisor of elections, Laura Shaw, had openly supported the candidates running against Solano and Malanga. Shaw testified against Solano and Malanga  during the student supreme court trial, according to the Tampa Free Press. In response to a post announcing the Solano and Malanga victory, Shaw “admitted to liking a comment which read ‘It ain’t over till it’s over.’” The student supreme court was not troubled by Shaw’s conflict of interest.

In a May 12 statement, Solano and Malanga condemned the university’s decision to take their victory away from them: “Unfortunately, our opponents and their allies in [student government] and the USF administration worked together to disregard and change the rules and ultimately steal the election from us and from you.”

On social media, many comments called it a “rigged” and “stolen” election, the Tampa Free Press reported.

Solano and Malanga won the election with 1,076 votes, while the runners up Cesar Esmeraldi and Elizabeth Volmy had 1,011 votes, receiving 65 fewer votes.

On May 12, the dean of students upheld overturning the election results. “In this election, the votes were very close and the violation was severe enough that it could have impacted the results. Therefore, I am upholding the decision to disqualify the Solano/Malanga ticket,” McDonald wrote.

At issue was a campus get-out-the-vote tabling Solano and Malanga held Feb. 28 where they handed out snacks and fliers with a QR code linked to online voting.

Officials ultimately determined it was an unauthorized polling station even though it does not seem to fall within even the nebulous outer reaches of vague campus prohibitions, and the tabling was representative of common campaign activities.

LU Staff

LU Staff

Promoting and defending liberty, as defined by the nation’s founders, requires both facts and philosophical thought, transcending all elements of our culture, from partisan politics to social issues, the workings of government, and entertainment and off-duty interests. Liberty Unyielding is committed to bringing together voices that will fuel the flame of liberty, with a dialogue that is lively and informative.


For your convenience, you may leave commments below using Disqus. If Disqus is not appearing for you, please disable AdBlock to leave a comment.