Dean Kirby overturns spring election disqualifications

Tuesday night Electoral Commissioner Aylse Taylor announced that one Mr. FAMU, one senior attendant and all of the Ms. FAMU candidates had been disqualified from the spring 2010 elections. Wednesday morning the dean of student affairs, Henry Kirby, overturned the commission’s decision.

More than 3,200 students voted in the spring elections held on campus Tuesday. The polls closed at 6 p.m. and the ballots were tallied up along with the point violations. Each candidate is allotted 50 points in occurrences. If anyone reaches this amount they are automatically disqualified.

“It’s been this way, this isn’t the first time someone has been disqualified, it just happened that this year all of the Ms. FAMU candidates were over their points,” said Taylor.

“There was a violation by the electoral commission,” said Kirby. “The point system and rules and procedure were not properly approved by the Student Supreme Court… there was never an official vote.”

In addition to the quorum in the Supreme Court, Kirby cited another rule that was not enforced by the EC. According to the signs posted at each polling site, there was to be no campaigning within 50 feet of polls. The polling site on the Set was marked with blue tape designating the threshold that campaigners were not supposed to cross. Kirby measured the distance from the building to the line and it was 16 feet in length, 34 feet short of the required distance. “For anyone to defend the point system when the 50 foot rule was not enforced is ridiculous,” said Kirby.

In a press conference held Wednesday morning Kirby submitted a referendum officially nullifying the point system.

The electoral commissioner is appealing the dean’s decision.

“I disagree with his memo and I am appealing to a higher body,” said Taylor. “We are moving forward with the election results as we announced.”

Run-off elections are being held Feb. 18 from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. “The most important thing is that you come out and vote to support your candidate,” said Catherine Jefferson, the EC advisor.