FAMU student senate meeting discusses election discrepancies

The Spring 2016 election season came to an end last Thursday after all available positions were filled and the Electoral Commission accounted for all votes.

Justin Bruno and Devin Harrison were named Student Government Association President and Vice President elect with 1,366 votes. Their opponent’s Victor Chrispin and Pernell Mitchell fell short with only 1,217 votes.

Both tickets were neck and neck in each class election. The deciding factor was Bruno and Harrison’s sweep of the College of Law coming out with 156 votes to Chrispin and Mitchell’s seven.

However during last night’s student senate meeting Kyle Washington, fourth-year broadcast journalism student, called into question the entire election process. From the way votes were manually submitted down to the candidate’s debate.

“What about questions on performance based funding? That’s what I would’ve wanted to hear at the debate. Lets fast forward to election day … we can’t be moving FAMU forward if we’re moving back and manually voting that’s crazy,” Washington said.

Washington was also deeply concerned about the College of Law’s voting process in the SGA president and vice president election, being that there wasn’t an official precinct supervisor from the Electoral Commission present during the actual submission of votes.

“… that’s sad to hear that the College of Law had nobody from the EC, just a student running it… what if this were the Obama ticket… it isn’t fair,” Washington said.

According to the EC there hasn’t been an official precinct supervisor in the past three years.

Following Washington’s outpour of concerns student senator Kordell Wilson, fourth-year FAMU economics student from Tampa, read a message from College of Law student and 43rd student senate Pro Tempore Gregory George.

In the message George urged the student senate to seek an appeal from the Supreme Court that will allow a re-vote instead of throwing out the law school votes.

Even if the law schools votes were dismissed Bruno and Harrison would still be the winners by three votes.

As of now Senate President Derek Keaton and Election and Appointments chairman Jaylen Smith have sent in memorandums to the Supreme Court concerning the election discrepancies.

“Once the memorandums are reviewed the Supreme Court can either deny the claim and leave the results as is or appeal. If they appeal they can call for a special election which would allow the college of law to re-vote, or an entire re-vote for the entire campus … throwing out the votes isn’t an option because it isn’t in the student statues,” Organization and Finance Committee chairwoman Jernice Woodberry said.

During closing remarks freshman senator Kennedy Webster expressed how important it is to clear this matter up now before the student body undergoes another election.

“Elections are solely run by the electoral commission. That’s what they are funded for and paid for per the student statues. We asked for representation in tonight’s meeting but their representative was unable to attend. As of now there aren’t any reprimands mandated for the EC,” Sen. Wilson said.

The Supreme Court was supposed to render a decision last night. Once they have reached a final decision official memorandums will be sent to the electoral commission, senate and all vested parties.