Words By: Kiara Whitehead
Florida A&M University’s annual Fall student elections were scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, with Declaration of Candidacy, but will be “halted” due to a lack of quorum in the judicial branch of the Student Government Association and the Attorney General’s failure to provide a “current and indexed” pamphlet of Election Codes to the Electoral Commission.
“We sent out a memo to Student Government Association branch heads to notify them that if the Judicial Branch does not meet quorum by the time the Declaration of Candidacy starts, we will halt the election,” said Deputy Electoral Commissioner Kierra Clinch.
The memo, addressed to FAMU’s student body and press, said that elections would be halted until the current and indexed pamphlet of the Election Code has been provided by the Attorney General and the Judicial Branch achieves quorum.
According to the Election Codes outlined in the FAMU System of Student Body Statutes, two things must happen in order for the Electoral Commission to conduct a valid race.
First, “The Attorney General shall provide the Electoral Commission with a current, indexed pamphlet of the Election Code prior to the Declaration of Candidacy Period.” (Chapter 600.2 , Section E., Point One).
Secondly, “the Electoral Commission must “submit a list of Rules and Procedures to the Student Supreme Court for approval by majority vote before each Election.” ( Chapter 601.3, Section C, Point Six)
Without the current and indexed pamphlet of the Election Code and an approved list of Rules and Procedures from the Student Supreme Court, if incident were to occur during the race, there would be no parameters of how to handle it nor would there be a court to rule in the matter.
“These are the basic protections that the Electoral Commission needs in the event that a student tries to contest an election and/or decision,” the memo said. “The Student Supreme Court is needed to approve the Rules and Procedures for the fall 2016 election season.”
SGA President Jaylen Smith, in a statement sent to Electoral Commissioner Adrienne Floyd on Aug. 31, said that he will assume “all duties and responsibilities of the Attorney General during the fall election,” citing Chapter 600 of the Student Body Statutes.
Smith is assuming the role of Attorney General “in order to give the Student Body a fair and just opportunity to apply for all open positions with Smith and Ellis Executive Cabinet, including the position of Attorney General.”
A student senate meeting will be held Wednesday, according to SGA Vice President Paris Ellis, where the student senate will inform Smith of his deadlines for appointing members to the Student Supreme Court.
The Electoral Commission is not sure at this time when Fall 2016 elections will take place.
Click here for the FULL Electoral Commission Memo—-> Fall 2016 Election Memo Press