Henry Kirby, associate vice president for student affairs, is expected to make a decision today on an election appeal that four candidates for freshman senator submitted Friday. The decision could lead to a new election for freshmen senators.
Patricia Green-Powell, vice president for student affairs, was given the case due to the lack of quorum within the Student Supreme Court; this means the court doesn’t have the number of justices needed to render a decision. Green-Powell gave the case to Kirby for a final decision.
“The issue can be easily decided on by looking at the statues,” Kirby said. “The bottom line is whether or not the claims of the appeal affected the outcome of the election and if I should override the decision of the students. If there is injustice, [the Office of Student Affairs] will take action.”
A memorandum sent out last week by Student Supreme Court Chief Justice Maya Simmons stated several appeals needed to be heard before “final validation” of the freshmen senators’ wins can be made.
However, Simmons said freshmen senators who won can proceed with fulfilling their senatorial duties.
“The announcement of the winners can take place as normal just please put the stipulation that the winners shall take their specified positions as normal but may be subject to running again,” Simmons said.
The freshman candidates who submitted an appeal will receive legal counsel from Jarrett Tyus, a senior political science and public management student. Tyus said his clients, whose names he would not release, were given election codes different from the codes the commission used during fall elections and a listing of candidates in The Famuan confused students.
“The basis of the appeal is that my clients received the 2002 election codes whereas elections were governed off the 2001 codes,” Tyus said.
Electoral Commissioner Lance Eldell could not be reached for a comment.
“Second, the sample ballot that was printed in The Famuan was different from the ballot used on the day of elections, which is a violation of the Florida State Law.
“My clients advertised their election numbers based on the sample ballot that was exposed but the number was different the day of elections,” said Tyus.
However, the listing of candidates in the The Famuan during fall elections was not an official ballot, but simply a list provided to inform students on the candidates, said The Famuan’s editor in chief, Elizabeth Broadway.
“The Famuan published a list of freshmen and graduate candidates seeking positions. These lists were in no way intended to serve as sample ballots and were never labeled as such,” Broadway said in a statement Wednesday.
Tyus also said because the candidates received old codes they didn’t use a bullhorn, which can be used to attract voters.
“The old codes stated a bullhorn could only be used from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., however, the current codes didn’t mention bullhorns, prohibiting them from promoting campaign events, such as playing flash light tag,” Tyus said.
Sharon Coleman can be reached at email@example.com.