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The Daily Tar Heel

Special Elections Fill 7 More Seats; 5 Still Vacant

Student Congress held special elections Tuesday to fill 13 vacant seats in graduate, South Campus and off-campus undergraduate districts.

The winners were:

District 2: Anthony Ward

District 16: Kimberly Anne Turner and Carey Richter

District 17: Bradley Keith Overcash

District 18: Timothy Michael Ligay

District 19: Gary King

District 21: David Allen Worth

District 24: Jay Thomas Briley

Seats in graduate districts 3, 5, 7 and 9 as well as off-campus District 25 are still vacant because no one ran for office.

A total of 201 people cast their votes at the four polling sites around campus. Chase Hall drew 145 voters, more than all other sites combined.

Elections Board Chairman Jeremy Berkeley-Tuchmayer attributed the high numbers to the hotly contested race in District 17, which represents Craige and Ehringhaus residence halls and Odum Village.

Frederick Hill, an Elections Board member, was pleased with the voter turnout. "I mentioned to a Student Congressman that we might have 150 (students), and she was excited that we'd have that many," Hill said.

But polling sites will soon be a thing of the past. Berkeley-Tuchmayer said online voting is tentatively set to begin with Homecoming elections on Nov. 9. WebslingerZ, the private company Student Congress contracted to write the online voting program, is supposed to have the Web site ready to begin uploading onto the UNC Web server by Oct. 20.

With online voting, students will be able to vote from their homes through the UNC Web site. One polling site will remain open in the Student Union for students who cannot get online. "More than likely, we'll never do this (voting at polling sites) again," Berkeley-Tuchmayer said. "We're moving toward online voting."

Special elections winners have until 5 p.m. today to turn in candidate financial statements affirming that they did not spend more than $25 on their campaign. They must then be certified by the Elections Board and will be sworn in Oct. 30 at a Student Congress meeting.

While the ballots were being tallied Tuesday night, Congress approved the Freshman Focus Council, a group of 10 freshmen who will work to make the voice of first-year students heard. The members of the council were chosen from an applicant pool of 61.

The group plans to work on revising

C-TOPS, pushing the bond, establishing Freshman Central on the UNC Web site and organizing a freshman social event.

Gregory Wahl, Student Affairs Committee chairman, said he was impressed with the council.

"This is by far the most representative group of appointees I've seen."

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