People are coming at you left and right in the Pit with clipboards asking if you want to sign their petition. Student body president elections are underway, and it is just getting started.
They had to acquire 1,000 signatures to get on the ballot, either on paper or electronically, by Tuesday, Feb. 5, according to the 2019 Election Regulations.
On Friday, the final list of certified candidates will be released to show who’s on the ballot, starting the active campaigning period, according to the regulations. Students that didn't not make the ballot can still run, but they have to campaign as a write-in candidate.
Candidates go all out during this stage of campaigning, so expect to hear from almost every candidate or someone on their campaign team. Social media has changed the way people get their message across, allowing candidates to reach a wider number of people. Some potential candidates have websites, which must include a sponsorship message so they are not penalized by the Board of Elections.
SBP candidates are only allowed to spend up to $250 on their campaigns, according to the regulations. If they go over that limit, then they could be penalized or disqualified.
If you ever wondered why you only see people campaigning in certain areas, this is because the BOE is very strict on where people can and cannot campaign. For example, students cannot campaign inside the Student Union, the UNC Student Stores, dining halls or residence halls.
Every violation a candidate makes, such as campaigning in a prohibited area or not including a sponsorship message on their website, results in points against the individual. Accumulating 15 points means a candidate will be disqualified. Each point a candidate gains will also result in a 3 percent decrease in their spending limit.
The election will take place Feb. 12 from midnight to 8 p.m. on HeelLife, the online portal for student organizations. The student body president position will be elected by instant-runoff voting. Instant-runoff voting means, as students vote, they will rank the candidates based on their preferences.