Online elections on the Students’ Union website, will appear on your group’s webpage. For Societies, Volunteering Groups, and Student Media you should have a 'Returning Officer', meaning someone who is in charge of running your elections. Candidates can upload their manifesto on the website, and once voting opens all members can see the full candidate list and cast their votes. Your staff support will then count the elections for you and inform the Returning Officer of the results, with the expectation that they then share the results with their members. We will normally contact you about elections in Semester 2, but if you have any questions please email your staff support.
If you are a sports club, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about your elections.
How do they work?
There are two main parts to an election: a nominations period and a voting period.
Nominations Period: This is when the positions you are electing are open for applications. Members of your group* put themselves forward for a role (known as standing for a role), often with a statement of why they want to run, why they should be elected, and what they’ll do if elected. This is also known as a manifesto.
Voting Period: Once nominations are closed a candidate list is published so you can see who is running for which role. You may decide to hold hustings or a candidate question time, which gives members of your group an opportunity to meet the candidates and see how they compare with one another. Your members then cast a vote, and the person with the most votes gets elected.
*please note that in order to be eligible to run for a role, the member must be a paid member (this does not apply for Volunteering Groups), and a student during the whole time they are in this position if elected.
Benefits of using online elections
We know a lot of groups prefer electing their committee through an AGM, but we would encourage you to switch to an online election. Here are the benefits:
- It does not stop you from holding an AGM if you decide to do this: you can always host one so people can come forward to run for a position and explain why they want to run, but then the voting is moved online. Or you could have voting occur during your AGM.
- It is more accessible for members: it allows more time for members to see the candidate list, read their manifestos, and make an informed decision before they cast their vote.
- It’s easier to verify who are members: When you hold elections, only paid members can participate (not applicable for volunteering groups). If you hold paper elections but do not verify that everyone who voted, this invalidates the votes and you are required to hold another election.
- We use Alternative Transferable Voting, which is a type of proportional voting which takes greater account to people’s preferences in who they want elected. For a full explanation of how this works, you can watch this video.