SG approves election results despite controversy about constitutionality

Spinnaker

UNF Student Government conducted a Senate meeting Oct. 13 to address the university’s first-ever election invalidation claim.

The five election invalidation claims, presented by Sen. Jacqueline Simard, were eventually dismissed, and the election was validated.

The Senate voted 13-1-1 to dismiss a claim that the election should be invalidated due to newly elected Sen. Jessica Amick’s name being spelled incorrectly on the ballot.

The ballot was changed the second day of voting to correct her name, which possibly violated election statutes for altering the ballot within 48 hours of the election, according to Simard’s violation claim.

The Senate voted 15-1-1 to dismiss a claim that Simard was unable to vote, and other students could have been excluded as well, although no other students came forward.

A third claim concerned the referendums and the fact they were not published in a “major student publication and otherwise made available to the Student Body” for 10 days prior to voting, according to Article VI, Section 2, Letter A of the SG Constitution.

Elections, Selections and Appointments Chairman Joe Husky said his actions were unconstitutional, but
by mistake, and it would be an injustice to throw out half the ballot.

Sen. Robert Foster disagreed.

“The constitution was violated,” Foster said. “It requires us not to validate these two constitutional amendments.”

The Senate voted 18-0-1 to dismiss the invalidation claim concerning the referendum, though the results were stricken from the final election validation.

The referendum is slated to be voted on again during the spring elections.

The fourth claim concerned sophomore Brett Bradley’s inability to vote for his college’s representative. The Senate voted 19-0-1 to dismiss the invalidation claim since only juniors and seniors are able to vote outside the College of Arts and Sciences.

The final invalidation claim concerned the fact that absentee ballots were not posted by the Elections Supervisor “in a newspaper of general campus circulation” 14 days before the elections, according to Section 606.3, Letter B, Subsection 2.

The Senate voted 17-2-1 to dismiss the claim, referring to the amount of students’ money required to schedule a campus re-vote.

“We are talking about another incredible expensive mistake if we invalidate the election,”
Foster said.

But Sen. Chris Arsenault asked if the Senate body was willing to use this as justification for ignoring constitutional statues.

Simard agreed, though she anticipated the results, she said.

“It’s a sad day when you know how every single senator would vote,” Simard said.

Upcoming dates:

Oct 20

Four committee meetings are scheduled beginning at 3 p.m. in the Senate Chambers.

Oct 27

The next Senate meeting is scheduled, in which appointments for leadership vacancies will be taken and newly elected senators will receive certificates.

Nov 3

The deadline for the 2008-2009 SG scholarships. Students from every college are eligible.

E-mail James Cannon II at [email protected]