Members of the Elections and Appointments Committee of the 34th Student Senate and the Electoral Commission are taking steps to ensure that every candidate adheres to the rules and is treated equally.
The E&A Committee, temporarily headed by senior senators Ranaldo Allen and Kenneth Milstead, created the rules for the elections and outlined violations of election rules.
The committee also created the points system that determines the amount of violations a candidate can acquire before he or she is disqualified.
Allen, who replaced Sen. Candice Elliot as E&A chairperson, said he and Milstead, who replaced Sen. Torey Alston as vice chairperson, will retain their positions until SGA elections are over.
“The chair (Elliot) and vice chair (Alston) are running for positions,” said Allen, a 21-year-old business administration student from Jacksonville who has served on the E&A committee for three years.
Allen said one of the committee’s accomplishments so far is the establishment of a precinct at FAMU’s College of Law in Orlando.
Before this election season, law students had to submit absentee ballots to participate in elections.
SGA President Virgil Miller said he promoted the creation of a law school precinct because he wanted law students to participate in elections like all other students. Miller said he wants elections to be a reflection of the entire student body.
“The law school was brought back in 2001 and students were afforded the opportunity to do absentee ballots, but many were not fully educated on the process,” said the 23-year-old graduate student from West Palm Beach.
During the Feb. 7 senate meeting, Miller asked the E&A committee to act on the issue.
Allen said the committee met Feb. 9 and created the precinct.
Reginald Bellamy, a representative of the Office of Student Union and Activities, and a senator or member of the Judicial Branch will travel to the law school during voting days. However, all of the details concerning the precinct have yet to be worked out.
SGA Election Day is Feb. 22.
“A candidate has to have 50 percent of the votes (plus) one vote to be declared the winner,” said Kenneth Milstead, a 21-year-old business administration student from Houston.
If the candidate does not have 50 percent of the votes, there will be a run-off election Feb. 24.
“We will reveal the results of the run-off elections at the Voter’s Comedy Jam,” Milstead said.
The SGA Voter’s Comedy Jam, which the E&A committee is helping to plan, will be held Feb. 24 in Gaither Gymnasium.
According to Allen, 25 volunteers are assisting the committee during the election season. He said volunteers were screened to prevent acts of bias or sabotage from occurring and will answer any questions about the elections that students may have.
The Electoral Commission, headed by Tiffany Cartwright, enforces E&A committee rules.
Cartwright, a 21-year-old political science/ public administration student from Miami, said the commission consists of herself, the deputy commissioner, seven precinct supervisors and volunteers.
Cartwright said her role as commissioner is to keep students and the senate abreast while supervising members of the commission and candidates.
The commission supervises the campus during elections. But Cartwright said it is a school-wide effort.
“We get assistance and tips from anonymous sources when something wrong (concerning the elections) happens,” she said.
Cartwright said she encourages student to get involved in the election process.
“If you think a candidate is doing something wrong, contact the Office of Student Activities,” she said.
Contact Ebonie Ledbetter at firstname.lastname@example.org.