The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday December 9th

Leimenstoll and Longest move on to the SBP ballot

Will Leimenstoll- SBP candidate
Buy Photos Will Leimenstoll- SBP candidate

Four student body president candidates will spend today scrambling for extra petition signatures in hopes of securing a spot on the ballot.

After a week of petitioning, only two candidates — Will Leimenstoll and Tim Longest— have collected the required 1,250 signatures, which were due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, to become certified.

Leimenstoll and Longest said they were satisfied by the totals.

“That makes me feel incredibly optimistic,” Longest said.

“Our real strategy was just to be as accessible as possible online and in person,” Leimenstoll said.

This was the first year candidates have all utilized online petitions to collect signatures.

The four candidates who fell short of the mark will be given an additional 24 hours to make up the difference, said Shruthi Sundaram, chairwoman of the Board of Elections.

“At this point, it is really difficult to get 200 or 300 signatures,” said Brian Min, who needs to collect 278 signatures today to become certified.

Warche Downing faces the biggest challenge. He has collected only 572 signatures.

“Now you know a miracle can happen,” Downing said. “Warche has not given up.”

“We’re going to utilize all the resources that we can legally,” he said.

Min said candidates who had the most volunteers tended to be successful. He said he felt outnumbered in dorm storming and that it was difficult to reach students during the allowed times, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Min wasn’t the only candidate who expressed frustration with the petition process.

“It’s pretty much just putting a paper in front of your face,” said Calvin Lewis Jr.

“I think it has more to do with who got to people first,” Leigh Fairley said.

Downing said 1,250 signatures is just an unreasonably large number for candidates to collect.

“What’s hindering us now is policies,” Downing said. “Just because we lacked the signatures does not mean that we don’t have the support.”

Previously, candidates only needed to collect 1,000 signatures, but the requirement was increased for the 2011 election.

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