Senators vote to impeach electoral commissioner

With more than half of its members in agreement, the senate voted to impeach Electoral Commissioner Tiffany Finch at its weekly meeting Monday. The Senate moved to impeach Finch after she failed to appear at scheduled meetings, on several occasions, to answer questions from the senate and provide recommendations for improving the electoral codes next year . “Two weeks after the election, the electoral commissioner and the commission is supposed to come before the Senate with ideas and proposals for the new school year,” said Chiquita Woolfolk,. “Five weeks have passed and the senate has not yet heard from the commission. She was subpoenaed to come before the senate last week and did not show.”Finch could not be reached for comment. Other senators expressed discontent with Finch’s performance as electoral commissioner and urged fellow officials to take immediate action. “Clearly she has ignored protocol. We are not the police and I will not take this any longer,” said Akila McAllister, a senior senator. “She doesn’t care about her job or the students she was elected by. Use you power. Know what you can do.” But not all senators were willing to exercise that power. Six (CHECK) senators voted against impeaching Finch. “Impeachment is based on emotion. It’s pointless.” said Sophomore Senator Saasha Wheeler.”The best solution is for the senate to add new legislation to prevent this next year.” Finch’s performance came under fire after allegations of numerous Electoral Codes violations, including precincts opening late and campaign materials inside precincts In March, the Student Supreme Court ruled to hold Finch’s salary after names were placed out of order in the election for electoral commissioner, citing that the error affected the outcome of the election. According to chapter 602.4 in the Electoral Codes, “candidates shall be listed in alphabetical order, based on last name.” Despite the ruling, Finch had been paid. immediately after the elections.”We don’t have the jurisdiction to take back their (Electoral Commission) salary. It’s illegal,” said Chief Justice Nailah Rogers in a prior interview.John M. Lee, a senior senator, proposed two bills that would make the electoral commissioner appear before the Student Senate and receive pay two weeks after each election.The senate is set to vote on these bills and seven others Monday.”Usually as a courtesy, the electoral commissioner does come to make recommendations for next year but she didn’t show up,” Lee said. “You can’t make her (Finch) come. The only power you have is her pay.”

Wheeler went on to say that she agreed that Finch is not doing her job, but there would be no purpose on in impeaching her now especially since she had already been paid.

“There are questions that need to be answered, … impeach the whole staff, we have to show her she has not met the standards.” Said Robert Clemmons, a sophomore senator.

Some senators said that Finch should have been impeached and investigated during the spring 2002 elections. There were careless problems in the election where names where out of order on the election ballots.