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The Daily Tar Heel

Rules and Judiciary committee approves Board of Elections nominees

The new Board of Elections members introduce themselves to Student Congress's Rules and Judiciary Committee before being questioned. 

The new Board of Elections members introduce themselves to Student Congress's Rules and Judiciary Committee before being questioned. 

If approved by full Congress at today’s special session, the BOE will have enough members to be in line with the Student Code, which states that the Board of Elections needs five members who have been formally approved by Congress.

The six recommended appointees are Zaid Khatib, Lucy Best, Arunabha Debnath, Zach Johnson, Joanna Zhang and Andy Hoang.

As of now, the BOE only has one formally appointed member — chairperson Paul Kushner. Two other members had been informally serving on the board.

The BOE had operated with an insufficient number of members since at least the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, but the issue was called into question last week when the UNC Student Supreme Court put an injunction on student body president elections and the BOE until the board had the required number of members.

Kushner said he has confidence in the board’s appointments, which were made by Student Body President Bradley Opere.

“Glad the committee gave them a fair full review, which should help us get through Congress tomorrow and let us get back to business as soon as possible because then we can provide the Supreme Court with the documentation necessary for them to lift the injunction,” he said. “All good news on BOE side tonight.”

Lucky Prachith, a sophomore business major and a member of the Rules and Judiciary Committee, said he thinks if the new members are approved at today’s special session, the UNC Student Supreme Court will lift the injunction it has on the student body election and BOE within three days — after which the BOE can determine a new timeline for the election and certify student body president candidate signatures.

Prachith estimated the student body president election will happen within the next two weeks.

Last week, impeachment proceedings were brought against Kushner by the Speaker Pro-Tempore Chase McConnachie. Prachith said he is unsure if the impeachment proceedings will continue, as they were rescinded last week.

There was a discrepancy in the Student Code over whether two or five members were needed to review evidence against Kushner. The committee voted Tuesday night that five members are needed to decide if there is sufficient evidence.

The changes will go up for a vote at Student Congress’ special session today.

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