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University Elections

POLICY NO: C-30

DATE: 19 June 2008
Council Resolution 2008/4/5

AMENDMENTS:

REFERENCE AUTHORITY: Director: Council Services and Chancellery

CROSS REFERENCES:


Policy Statement

The University will conduct elections from time to time as required to elect members of Council, its standing committees and other established committees of the University. All elections must be undertaken by secret ballot. The University’s Returning Officer will be responsible for the conduct of the elections.

The Returning Officer may appoint persons to act as Deputy Returning Officers to assist in carrying out the duties of this policy.

For each election the Returning Officer must appoint as scrutineers two persons who are not candidates in the election.

An election will not be invalid by reason of the non-observance of any provision in this policy or any other irregularity, unless the Council determines that the non-observance or irregularity has affected, or may have affected the result of the election, in which case the election will be declared null and void.

Definitions

Returning Officer

The Director: Council Services and Chancellery will act as the University Returning Officer and must conduct each election.

Optional Preferential Voting

The University uses an optional preferential voting system. This means that a valid vote may be cast by:

  1. expressing a single primary preference for one candidate only, leaving all other squares blank; or
  2. expressing a partial distribution of preferences by voting for some, but not all candidates on the ballot paper and indicating the order of preference; or
  3. expressing a full distribution of preferences by voting for all candidates on the ballot paper and indicating the order of preference.

Method of election

The method of voting and counting of ballots is, unless Council resolves otherwise, by means of electronic voting software which delivers a secure, confidential and reliable method of voting and a means of achieving a rapid result after counting ballots. The method of nomination will be by a paper form.

Procedures

1. Not less than 21 days before an election, the Returning Officer will notify each person eligible to vote in the election and invite nominations. The Returning Officer will propagate information about the election, the purpose of the committee to which candidates will be elected and the date and time until which nominations will be received.

2. A person must be nominated in writing by two people eligible to vote in the election and the person nominated must sign the form indicating consent to the nomination. The nomination form must be returned to the Returning Officer by the day and time stipulated in the notice of election.

3. If at the close of nominations the number of persons nominated for any elected position does not exceed the number required to fill a vacancy the Returning Officer will declare the person or persons duly elected.

4. If at the close of nominations the number of persons nominated exceeds the number required to be elected the Returning Officer will prepare a ballot and distribute to every person eligible to vote in the election. The position of each candidate on a ballot will be determined by lot by the Returning Officer in the presence of the scrutineers. Information about the system of voting and instructions concerning the method of voting will be circulated and each person wishing to record a vote may do so by the date and time appointed by the Returning Officer.

5. In the recording of votes the optional preferential voting system will apply.

6. The electronic voting software counts votes by the following method:

  1. The candidate who has received the greatest number of first preference votes will, if that number constitutes an absolute majority of the votes, be elected.
  2. If no candidate has received an absolute majority of first preference votes, a second count is conducted, from which the candidate who received the fewest first preference votes is excluded, with each ballot paper counted to that candidate being counted instead to the candidate next in order of the voter's preference.
  3. If a candidate then has an absolute majority of votes that candidate will be elected; but if no candidate then has an absolute majority of votes the process of excluding the candidate who has the fewest votes and counting each of the unexhausted ballot papers to the candidate next in the order of the voter's preference is repeated until one candidate has received an absolute majority of votes, whereupon that candidate will be elected.
  4. Where there are two or more vacancies to be filled, the first vacancy will be filled as provided in the previous paragraphs of this clause 6, and the second vacancy will be filled as follows:
  1. The ballot papers are re-arranged under the names of the respective candidates in accordance with the first preference votes recorded in them, except that each ballot paper in which a first preference for the elected candidate is indicated is, if unexhausted, placed in the parcel of the candidate next in order of the voter's preference.
  2. The ballot papers in the parcel of each candidate are then counted.
  3. If a candidate then has an absolute majority of votes that candidate will be elected, but if no candidate then has an absolute majority of votes the count will proceed as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this clause 6 until one candidate has received an absolute majority of votes; provided that in the application of paragraphs (c) and this paragraph (d), a reference to first preference votes is to be read as a reference to all votes counted under this sub-paragraph iii.
  4. The candidate who has received an absolute majority of votes will be elected.
  1. Any further vacancy will be filled in the manner provided in paragraph (d) as regards the filling of a second vacancy; provided that a ballot paper on which a first preference for an elected candidate is marked is, if unexhausted, placed in the parcel of the continuing candidate next in order of the voter's preference.
  2. In the process of filling any vacancy a ballot paper which does not indicate a next preference for a continuing candidate is set aside and no longer be taken into account.
  3. If on any count two or more candidates have an equal number of votes the Returning Officer will decide which is to be excluded; and if in the final count for filling a vacancy two candidates have an equal number of votes the Returning Officer will draw lots to determine the successful candidate.
  4. In this clause 6, 'an absolute majority of votes' means a greater number than one half of the whole number of ballot papers other than informal or exhausted ballot-papers.

7. At the conclusion of the voting process and once the results of the election are known, the Returning Officer must declare the result of the election by:

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