Judgment Day

Chief Justice Magalie Yacinthe announced Friday morning that the Student Supreme Court would uphold the results of the 2008 spring elections.

The Franklin and Ardis vs. Electoral Commission trial came to a close April 4 with the court ruling in favor of the commission.

Court officials voted 3-2 in favor of the defense.

After the first trial on March 19 and its continuation April 2 granted by Yacinthe, the plaintiffs Gallop Franklin and Dominick Ardis, provided seven witnesses, but Yacinthe said they did not provide enough evidence for their case.

Franklin, 20, a junior pharmacy student from Tallahassee, said he was not surprised by the verdict.

“We showed ballots were in the machine before 8 a.m., we showed the signatures in the voter rolls didn’t match, we showed there were no signatures in the College of Law voter roles,” Franklin said. “We exposed the unethical student leadership. It made me realize we’re fighting an uphill battle.”

Associate Chief Justice Marcus Barrington said the trial was a result of the commission not having internal policies and procedures.

“The election was egregiously sloppy,” Barrington said. “Procedures, or lack thereof, caused that.”

Associate Chief Justice Christopher Weaver also said the lack of procedures affected the election.

“The Electoral Commission’s lack of internal policies left room for error,” Weaver said. “Whose to say there aren’t more errors and in consistencies.”

Although the ruling was in the commission’s favor, Yacinthe mandated that the commission have internal policies and procedures in the future.

“The Electoral Commission will also be sanctioned at a later date and time,” she said.

Ardis, 20, a junior health care management student from Tallahassee, said the court sent a message that it is OK if organizations and governing bodies on campus it does not abide by statutes.

“The court’s ruling gave a distinct message that it is simply fine to break the law,” he said.

“It has now become officially clear that members of student government find it acceptable to not uphold the rules and procedures that they have put in place.”

Franklin and Ardis can appeal to the Vice President of Student Affairs Roland Gaines, who can either affirm or remand the decision back to the Student Supreme Court.