Miss Florida A&M University candidate Chelsea Earby was denied a trial for a recount after her letter addressed to the electoral commissioner explained her concerns with ballot tampering, and poor supervision over the voting precincts.
A memo from the Student Supreme Court stated “We, the Student Supreme Court find that there was a lack of sufficient evidence supporting the allegations brought fourth by the Chelsea Earby ticket. Thus, we the Student Supreme Court deny the Petitioner, Chelsea Earby, her motion to appeal for a recount, and this matter does not warrant a trial.
Earby’s letter to the Electoral Commissioner stated that some of these incidents include candidate sheets in the grand ballroom that had been tampered so that her name was marked out with black marker and her opponents’ name circled.
“This was seen on more than one person’s ballot between 1:30 and 4:30. The incident was reported to precinct supervisor Byron Morrison,” Earby wrote in her letter. “Several students who voted in the grand ballroom reported the incident periodically throughout the day leaving us to speculate that it wasn’t fixed.
“On Thursday, (March 24) many of my campaign team members witnessed several aggressive attacks on voters that were approaching the polls. Members of my campaign teams were scolded for holding up my poster and were told to put them down. My giveaways were also knocked onto the ground in front of the Dyson Pharmacy precinct. However, my biggest issue with Thursday was the negligence of the electoral codes that state students cannot be walked to polls and that bribery is unconstitutional,” Earby stated in her letter.
While Earby submitted a letter and list of complaints against the EC and asked for a recount, the Student Supreme Court said they could not honor the request due to the lack of evidence.
“She submitted an appeal on why she should receive a recount. Evidence was not substantial so they could not grant a recount,” said Chief Justice of Supreme Court Kashif Smiley. “She had just cause but she could not prove it. The machines were fully functional so there were not any mechanical issues.”
The memo from the Student Supreme Court stated that when it comes to the matter of the Electoral Commission volunteer, Dannie Stewart touching ballots, we must dismiss this allegation due to lack of evidence and as far as the credibility of the ballot count, we have no reason to believe there was any inaccuracy in the count of the ballots.
NaKena Cromartie was elected Miss FAMU 2011-2012 in a runoff election. Cromartie claimed victory with 1,072 votes, besting runner-up Earby, who had 734 votes.
“A win is a win; if a person loses they should congratulate the other person instead of finding a reason to bring the other person down,” said Latoya Sevell, 18, a first-year elementary education student from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
While some students disagree with Earby’s choice to fight for a recount, others support her request and question the ballot machines. “She is fighting for what she believes in. She needs to find additional information and then go back to the Supreme Court,” said Javier Russell, 21, a senior business administration student from Washington, D.C.