Voting in Elections
Voting will take place as detailed in the official announcements for elections. This announcement details the date, times and locations of voting. Voting usually takes place online, normally on the Students' Union website.
The voting process is outlined within Rule 2 of the Students’ Union’s Constitutional Rules (see below). The voting process is based on the principles of proportinaional representation and the single transferable vote. Students may vote for as many candidates as they wish in any particular election.
Voting with a ‘1’ represents the casting of a ‘first preference’. Voters may also indicate a second preference with a ‘2’, continuing with further preferences (‘3’, ‘4’, etc) up to the total number of candidates.
Voting for the elections usually all take place on the QUBSU website. Only Queen’s University students may vote. They can vote on any personal computer or University computer connected to the internet. All of the University’s Open Access Centres, and your PC or laptop at home, can be used to vote. Please note that students of St. Mary’s University College and Stranmillis University College are not permitted to stand as candidates or vote in these elections. (They have their own students' unions and elect their own student officers.) There are some other catagories of students inelligible to vote in some elections. For example, students of the INTO-Queen's partnership cannot stand for election or vote in elections to Full-Time or Part-Time Student Officer positions.
Candidates and their canvassers / supporters are not permitted to complete other students’ online ballot papers on their behalf. If a voter requires assistance to complete their vote and has asked for a candidate or canvasser to assist them, the candidate or canvasser should refuse to do so.
Candidates should bear in mind that it is extremely worthwhile campaigning for all votes, as second and third preferences have had a critical impact upon determining who was elected in previous elections.
Counting of Votes
When electronic voting is over, the QUBSU staff will begin the online count. This will take place under the supervision of the Returning Officer. The Students’ Union uses a single transferable voting system.
The procedure for the counting of votes is detailed in the Constitution of the Students’ Union. If such as scenario arises whereby a count cannot take place as described in the Constitution – due to technological limitations – the count shall take place using a process compliant with the process published by the Electoral Reform Society (ERS 1997) as determined by the Returning Officer.
Election results will be announced on the Students’ Union website when counting is complete.
The Returning Officer
The Returning Officer is the person appointed by the Students' Union conduct elections.
For Full-Time Student Officer elections, the Returning Officer is a staff member of NUS-USI, appointed by the Students' Union Council. For all other Students' Union elections, the Returning Officer is a the Clerk of the Students' Union Council, a Students' Union staff member.
The Returning Officer has the following powers:
- The Returning Officer shall be the sole arbitrator in all matters relating to the election.
- The Returning Officer shall be responsible for conducting the election.
- The Returning Officer shall make rulings and issue further determinations as required. Such a determination shall have the same standing as a Rule and shall be effective for that election only.
- Rulings and determinations shall be made available on an authorised noticeboard of the Union and shall be communicated to candidates.
- A determination issued by the Returning Officer may be challenged by referral to an Election Court upon petition.
- If the Returning Officer is satisfied that a person’s failure to comply with any Election regulation is directly due to circumstances beyond that person’s control, they may at their discretion exnempt that person from that regulation. Such a decision may be challenged by reference to an Election Court upon petition.
The Returning Officer can always be contacted through the Students' Union Student Voice team.