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The Daily Tar Heel

Candidates Get Ready \To Launch Campaigns

Candidates were released to rove the campus and plan their attack after Board of Elections members unloaded pages of current election laws and petition forms at the election kick-off meeting Tuesday.

At the meeting, students officially declared their candidacy for the offices of student body president, Carolina Athletic Association president, Graduate and Professional Student Federation president, Residence Hall Association president, rising senior class officers and Student Congress members.

Board of Elections Chairman Jeremy Tuchmayer kicked off the meeting by introducing the members of the board and explaining the organization's role in the elections process. "Our philosophy for the election is this: Our aim is to be a behind-the-scenes player in (the election)," Tuchmayer said.

He stressed the importance of following the election laws and adhering to the different residence hall canvassing policies.

Tuchmayer said it is in the candidates' best interests not to engage in any activity that would require the Board of Elections to take action against their campaign.

"I prefer not to see my picture in the paper," Tuchmayer said. "If my picture's in the paper, it usually means (the Board of Elections) had to do something."

Addressing door-to-door campaigning, Tuchmayer said that senior class candidates are prohibited from canvassing residence halls, but that all other candidates can campaign in residence halls from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

Along the same guidelines, Tuchmayer said the Board of Elections prohibited candidates from sliding campaign materials under students' residence hall doors. "You can talk to them, have them fill out your petition, hand them a flier, but you cannot slide it under their doors," Tuchmayer told the 43 candidates.

Along with the election laws, potential candidates received petition forms to get their names on the ballot.

He said that the upcoming election will be conducted entirely online through Student Central and that all students with a valid Personal Identification Number can access it from any computer. Tuchmayer said he hopes voter turn-out will double from past years due to the new online access.

"It will be a lot easier for uninformed voters to use and hopefully attract more people," Tuchmayer said.

Because of this change in the election process, candidates are prohibited from placing political materials within 50 feet of all campus computer facilities that contain four or more computers.

The revised election law also prohibits any use of sound equipment used in the campaigning process within earshot of any University computer labs.

Tuchmayer said the penalty for breaking any election law will be serious and immediate. "Be careful with what you do," Tuchmayer said. "There are probably some loopholes, but we are not going to help you find them."

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