Florida A&M University’s student government fall elections were scheduled to begin with the declaration of candidacy on Sept. 6, but will be put on hold because of the Student Government Association’s judicial branch’s failure to meet quorum and the attorney general’s failure to provide a “current and indexed” pamphlet of election codes.
“We will send out a memo to Student Government Association branch heads to notify them that if the judicial branch does not meet quorum by the time the declaration of candidacy starts we will halt the election,” deputy electoral commissioner Kierra Clinch said.
The memorandum reads “Due to the fact that the current, indexed pamphlet of the Election Code has not been provided to the Electoral Commission by the Attorney General prior to the Declaration of Candidacy period and the Rules and Procedures for the fall 2016 election has not been approved due to the Judicial Branch not having quorum, the 2016-2017 Electoral Commission will be forced to halt elections until both services are provided to the Electoral Commission to serve the Student Body.”
According to the election codes outlined in the FAMU System of Student Body Statutes two things must happen in order for the Electoral Commission to conduct a valid race: the attorney general has to provide the electoral commission a current, indexed pamphlet of the election code prior to the declaration of candidacy period; the electoral commission must submit a list of rules and procedures to the Student Supreme Court for approval by majority vote before each election.
If incident were to occur during the race without both the current and indexed pamphlet of the election code and an approved list of rules and procedures from the Student Supreme Court, there would be no parameters of how to handle it nor would there be a court to rule in the matter.
“In order to give the student body a fair and just opportunity to apply for all open positions with Smith and Ellis executive cabinet, including the position of attorney general, I will assume all duties and responsibilities of the attorney general during the fall election, as it is outlined in Chapter 600 of the Student Body Statutes so that you and your staff can proceed with the fall elections,” SGA President Jaylen Smith said in a statement to electoral commissioner Adrienne Floyd on Aug. 31.
A senate meeting will be held on Wednesday and at that point, according to SGA vice president Paris Ellis, the student senate will inform Smith of his deadlines for appointing members to the Student Supreme Court.
The Electoral Commission is not sure at this time when Fall 2016 election will take place.