The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday August 12th

Board of mistakes: Two procedural mistakes by the Board of Elections do not bode well for spring elections

Board of Elections Chairman Pete Gillooly said he didn’t know who was at fault for errors made during the Nov. 5 Student Congress special election.

These blunders have led to a Student Supreme Court lawsuit and potentially another special election.

Though seemingly minor gaffes, these mistakes have major implications that could affect the outcome of the race and challenge the legitimacy of the representatives-elect.

And we think it’s obvious who’s to blame.

The Board of Elections made two procedural mistakes. In one case, they placed the name of one South Campus candidate on the ballot even though the candidate missed the deadline to submit a declaration of candidacy by 10 days. In another, the order of the names on the ballot was not random as mandated by the Student Code.

All of our candidates must have complete electoral legitimacy. Thus, Student Congress Speaker Joe Levin-Manning was correct to bar the representatives’ voting authority during last Tuesday’s meeting.

This should in no way be a point of contention among student representatives.

It is absolutely necessary that the Board of Elections maintain a strict observance of the Student Code and provide clarity and concise direction during all of our elections.

This was not the case last year, when then-chairman Ryan Morgan made last-minute changes to campaign regulations that served only to unnecessarily impede student body presidential candidates.

The lawsuit by Levin-Manning and the ensuing controversy is a direct consequence of failing to understand and adhere to the Student Code.

Such carelessness is unacceptable, and students deserve better.

Ultimately, mistakes like the ones made during the election hamper our democratic process and will not stand during the elections this spring.


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