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The Daily Tar Heel

Sign the bill: A bill to increase the number of signatures needed by candidates to 1,250 is a good compromise

Last week Student Congress passed a bill that would raise the signature threshold for student body president candidates to get on the ballot from 1,000 to 1,250 signatures. Student Body President Hogan Medlin has until Friday to either sign or veto the bill.

As a board we have already come out in support of raising the minimum number of signatures. Medlin recently indicated that he strongly opposes a signature increase. He hasn’t specifically said he would veto — but it doesn’t bode well.

Raising the count would make elections cheaper and quicker. If the threshold is higher, fewer candidates will make it on the ballot and a runoff election will be less likely. Also, all campaigns are funded by student fees, so fewer candidates mean more money left over for student groups.

Medlin should take careful consideration when he decides what to do about the election reform bill. He originally expressed discontentment when the signature proposal was much higher — a 500 signature increase from previous years. Since that time the bill has been amended to cut the increase in half.

The smaller increase sounds like a good compromise to us.

Furthermore, the signature increase passed Student Congress almost unanimously. Speaker Deanna Santoro said that if Medlin vetoes the bill a vote to override his veto will be automatic and almost certainly successful.

Medlin should go ahead and sign the election signature increase bill. Vetoing it just doesn’t make sense and would have little practical effect. Barring a massive shift in support among the members of Student Congress, next spring’s student body president candidates are likely going to have to collect 1,250 signatures to get on the ballot.

As student body president, Medlin should pick his battles carefully, and this one just isn’t worth it.

If Medlin vetoes the bill it will make a headline for sure, but it will not change the end result. The signature increase is probably going to happen whether Medlin likes it or not.

But even more, it’s a good bill. It represents a reasonable compromise among the expressed concerns within student government.

He should just sign the bill already.

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