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The Daily Tar Heel

Student Congress passes point system for election violations

Student Congress passed a bill Tuesday designed to make it easier for students seeking election to navigate through rules and regulations for campaigns.

The bill, which makes changes to Title VI of the Student Code, establishes a point system for election violations, making it a more efficient process for the Board of Elections to disqualify candidates who reach the maximum 10 points.

“We had a lot of problems with our Title VI bill last year,” Speaker Pro Tempore Adam Horowitz said. “And it led to more lawsuits and campaign violations than I can even remember.”

Representative Christy Lambden proposed an amendment to decrease the spending limit by 5 percent for any candidate who violates campaign rules, which passed.

“The points system is great in that it gives the (board) the ability to disqualify candidates,” Lambden said. “But it gives an incentive to cheat because there is no action taken until a candidate has 10 points, which makes no sense.”

The bill will also allow candidates to receive signatures electronically, as long as they are verified by a student’s Onyen.

Representative Marc Seelinger proposed removing all sections of the bill that required candidates to be approved by the board before beginning their campaigns, but the amendment did not pass.

“This would allow candidates to make their campaign last forever, and to put students through what could potentially be a year-long campaign is horrifying to me,” Horowitz said.

After debate over numerous proposed amendments to the bill, the full body passed it unanimously.

“I don’t think this is perfect, and throughout the course of the year we’ll find aspects of it we can fix,” Speaker of Student Congress Zach De La Rosa said. “But it does reflect the American legal system to the utmost degree.”

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