Florida A&M University is home to one of the most intense and exciting election seasons seen on a college campus. But there’s so much more to the election process than the beautiful smiling faces of the candidates and their extravagant campaigns.
Behind the scenes there’s one main voice orchestrating it all. It belongs to Precious Robles, a fourth-year health science student from Jacksonville. She is the electoral commissioner for FAMU’s Electoral Commission.
As the electoral commissioner, it is Robles’ duty to oversee all of the campus elections while promoting the democratic process.
Robles says that choosing to take on this position came from her interest in politics that started when she was younger.
“At a young age my mom got me really involved in politics and really understanding how important it is to vote,” Robles said. “I wanted to make an impact on the student body to promote that to them and let them know that their vote does count and their voice does matter.”
A lot of work comes with being the electoral commissioner and with fall elections taking place right now, preparation can be one of the hardest parts to handle.
Robles says that one of her greatest challenges when preparing is having to deal with other people.
“It takes a lot to prepare, but I feel like that’s the hardest part. When other parties are not on the same page that causes a drift in everybody’s flow, especially when it comes to elections,” Robles said.
Luckily, Robles is not alone when having to face this challenge. Her right-hand man, Emanie Johnson, is a fourth-year pre-physical therapy student and Deputy Commissioner of the EC. She assists with many tasks to make preparation easier.
“Preparing for elections takes a lot of planning ahead and collaboration,” Johnson said. “Commissioner Robles and I worked over the summer to come up with creative themes, election events, schedules, etc. My main focus is to be a problem solver.”
This semester has been especially stressful for the Electoral Commission as the fall elections have already been pushed twice. Robles says that it already takes a lot to prepare for elections but that her organizational skills have helped her keep everything under control despite this minor hiccup.
Kerra Kelly, a fourth-year biology pre-dental student and member of the EC, agrees that things run smoothly under Robles’ leadership.
“Precious is doing a great job having things together, making sure we’re really running smoothly and having scheduled times for everything, just really doing her job,” Kelly said. “It’s really been challenging with the miscommunication with the Senate and Supreme Court which really made it look like we’re not put together, but she’s really doing a great job.”
Robles says that being the electoral Commissioner, although at times challenging, is one of the most important things to her.
“EC is like my baby. I hold that very dear to my heart and I know that God put me in this position for a reason,” Robles said.