Board of Elections membership still holding up student body president election date
Student Body President Bradley Opere tried to appoint provisional members of the UNC Board of Elections over the weekend but missed the window by months.
He needs to appoint at least four members to have a full board — as there is only one official member currently. Since Opere tried to appoint provisional members after the deadline, they were ruled invalid.
After the BOE tried to disqualify Joe Nail from the student body president elections, Nail appealed the decision to the UNC Student Supreme Court, citing that the board did not have enough members to hold a valid hearing. The Supreme Court put an injunction on the board and the student body president election until the BOE had the required members.
Paul Kushner, chairperson of the BOE, said the BOE will revisit Nail's case and set the timeline for the rest of the election once the injunction is lifted.
“That might be certifying signatures then and there, but it might be we wait for disciplinary proceedings to conclude,” Kushner said. “There is a lot of stuff it could be and that will just be determined when we get together.”
Tarik Woods, a member of the Rules and Judiciary committee of Student Congress, said Opere’s provisional members were ruled invalid by the Supreme Court because the appointments were not made within 21 days of the vacancy in the BOE.
Chief Justice of the Student Supreme Court Grayson Berger said he was unable to speak on the issue.
Woods said there have been vacancies in the BOE since at least the beginning of the 2016-17 school year. He said instead of provisional appointees, Opere must choose permanent appointees, who are then approved by Student Congress.
“He now has to make the actual recommendations to Congress, so we are not playing the role of confirming provisional appointees,” Woods said.
The Rules and Judiciary committee will review Opere’s appointees tonight and a special session of Student Congress will meet on Wednesday to decide whether or not to approve the appointees as full members.
“The role of the Rules and Judiciary committee is to take those and question all the people who he has recommended and determine whether or not they are in good standing with the roles of members of the BOE and make sure they are not partisan toward any candidate or anything of that nature and then make a recommendation to full Congress on whether or not those recommendations made by Bradley should be confirmed,” Woods said.
Kushner said the BOE thought they had three members but realized two members from earlier this year never got approval from Student Congress, meaning they aren’t official members of the BOE.
Kushner is the only official member of the BOE, when they need at least five members to conduct official business. He said Opere is nominating six people with the goal of meeting the requirements for a full board.
“For the board to meet quorum, we need five total members so only four are functionally necessary, but I believe the goal is full with seven,” Kushner said.
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