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The Daily Tar Heel

Student Congress vote shortens election season, limits campaign funds

During Student Congress’ full- body meeting Monday night, members voted for a bill that will shorten the student election season from 28 days to 21 days.

The bill, which was introduced by Student Body President Jasmin Jones, is designed to cut down on voter fatigue and reduce campaign costs.

The election law change will also decrease the amount of money that candidates can spend on their elections to reflect the abbreviated, three-week election season. The bill includes the following reductions in funding for candidates:

-Student body president candidates: from $400 to $300

-Carolina Athletic Association: from $400 to $300

-Residence Hall Association president: from $250 to $200

-Graduate and Professional Student Federation president: from $250 to $200

-Senior class officers: from $150 to $100

-Student congress candidates: from $20 to $15

-Homecoming court candidates: from $150 to $100

Jones called the bill a compromise with Congress after she vetoed a bill passed by members that eliminated runoff elections, which occur when no candidate gathers a majority of votes. A bill to override the veto failed during Monday’s meeting.

“I think this is going to be a wonderful system and, if it’s not liked, we’ll change it next year,” Jones said. “This is trial and error.”

Congress members also approved the following executive branch officers during the meeting: Holly Boardman for student body vice president, Congress Speaker Dakota Williams for student body treasurer, Ian Lee for student body secretary and Sarah Core for student attorney general.

Student Congress voted on Lee’s nomination twice. His nomination failed the first time with 15 “yes” votes, 4 “no” votes and 5 abstentions. Some members voiced concerns about the selection process for secretary, which representative Lee Storrow said was not transparent enough.

With 24 members in attendance, Lee needed at least 16 “yes” votes to receive the two-thirds vote required for an approval. Abstentions are counted as “no” votes.

Lee was later confirmed with 17 “yes” votes after Storrow motioned for a reconsideration.

Williams’ nomination as student body treasurer also barely passed. Exactly two-thirds of the body voted for him.

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