FLINDERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT ASSOCIATIONLevel 1, Union Building (Student Hub)Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001P 08 8201 2371E [email protected] W fusa.edu.auABN 70 153 054 143A guide to running club electionsContentsIntroduction . 1Definitions . 2Things to consider when running an election. 4The ‘One Vote’ System. 6The ‘Ranked Voting’ System . 7Preparing for an Election . 8Running an In-Meeting Election . 9Queries and Contacts . 16IntroductionAre your club executive members finishing up their term? Has a member left their position due tograduation or other reasons? You may need to run an election!Club elections are run to ensure members are democratically voted into the positions required tooperate the club. Running an election correctly allows the membership to vote in the members theybelieve are best suited to the role, which can result in the club operating more professionally andremaining active and engaging on campus.Running elections can seem a little confusing, but they don’t have to be! This guide is provided tohelp you run an election successfully and correctly for your FUSA-affiliated club. This guide should beconsidered in conjunction with the FUSA Club Regulations (accessible via the FUSA Manage YourClub page), your club’s constitution and any other internal policies and procedures your club mayhave in place.
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT ASSOCIATIONLevel 1, Union Building (Student Hub)Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001P 08 8201 2371E [email protected] W fusa.edu.auABN 70 153 054 143DefinitionsMember: A member is a patron of the club who is recorded in the club’s membership register withat least their full name, email address, and student ID (if applicable). Members of a club’s Facebookgroup or other social media services are not considered members of the club for the purposes of theFUSA Club Regulations. The club members are collectively referred to as the ‘membership’.Executive: The elected members who handle the day-to-day operations of the club and areultimately responsible for the activities of the club. At minimum, the executive must be composed ofthe President (must be a current Flinders University student), the Secretary and Treasurer. Manyclubs also include a Vice President as a member of their executive.Committee: The club’s executive and/or membership (depending on the club’s constitution) mayelect club members into committee positions in charge of particular portfolios (such as marketing,events, sponsorship, etc.) to assist them in the operation of the club. The committee typicallyoperates under the direction and supervision of the executive.Club Regulations: The regulations governing all FUSA affiliated clubs, societies and schoolassociations as determined by the Student Council of the Flinders University Student Association. Asa condition of affiliation with FUSA, the Club Regulations take precedence over any regulations orprocedures decided on by the club (such as their constitution).General Meeting: A General Meeting is a meeting called by the Executive (typically the Secretary)that is open to all club members to update members on the club’s progress and make formaldecisions (such as electing executive members). The yearly General Meeting to elect new executivemembers is called the “Annual” General Meeting, and the club’s first ever Annual General Meeting isalso commonly referred to as the “Inaugural” General Meeting. General Meetings called by theExecutive or Membership for unexpected circumstances (such as member misconduct) arecommonly referred to as “Special” General Meetings.A meeting of the Executive Members and/or Committee Members is not considered to be a General
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT ASSOCIATIONLevel 1, Union Building (Student Hub)Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001P 08 8201 2371E [email protected] W fusa.edu.auABN 70 153 054 143Meeting for the purposes of the FUSA Club Regulations, and it is very important to know thedifference, as there is a set process in the Regulations (and often in your Club’s Constitution) for howevery General Meeting must be called.Chairperson: The Chairperson runs the General Meeting with the exception of Elections (which arerun by the Returning Officer). Typically the President will chair the meeting, or the Vice President willchair the meeting in their absence. Check your Constitution to determine the correct process foryour club.Returning Officer: The Returning Officer is nominated by the club’s membership to run elections forclub executive and (if required) committee positions. To ensure the process is conducted fairly, theReturning Officer must not be nominated for a position in the electionAgenda: The agenda for the General Meeting. Club members may submit items to the agenda priorto the meeting. The agenda should be sent to club members prior to the meeting, and this may berequired according to your constitution. The agenda of a General Meeting will typically include itemssuch as reporting from executive and committee members, elections (if required), proposed motionsand general business.One Vote System: A system where club members select one candidate for a position on the ballotform.Ranked Voting System: A system where club members rank their preference numerically (e.g: ‘1’ forfirst preference) for each candidate on the ballot form.
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT ASSOCIATIONLevel 1, Union Building (Student Hub)Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001P 08 8201 2371E [email protected] W fusa.edu.auABN 70 153 054 143Things to consider when running an electionAlright, so your executive needs to elect members to a position (or several positions) in the club. Todo this, you’ll need to ask yourselves a few questions first.1. Why are we holding an election?If your executive is coming to the end of their term, the club will need to hold an Annual GeneralMeeting. If an executive has resigned or been removed, the club will need to hold a GeneralMeeting, which can be an Annual General Meeting or another meeting open to the membership thatis called prior to the end of the end of the executive’s term of appointment (whichever is sooner).If a committee member needs to be replaced, consult your club constitution. Follow any instructionswithin the constitution if available. If there are no instructions regarding the replacement ofcommittee members, the executive may be able to replace the committee member without theneed for an election. It is advisable to follow any precedents of the club in these circumstances.2. How will we elect the new members?The voting system the club uses is at the club’s discretion, provided the office bearers are ‘fairly anddemocratically’ elected (as required by the Club Regulations). The voting system may be defined inyour club’s constitution, so be sure to check that first.In the absence of defined procedures in the club’s constitution, the club would typically use one oftwo voting systems:The ‘One Vote’ system: Where club members will select only one candidate for each position up forelection. The elected candidate for each position will be the candidate with the most votes.The ‘Ranked Voting’ system: Otherwise known as the ‘Preferential Voting’ system, the clubmembers rank each candidate numerically in order of their preference (e.g: ‘1’ for their firstpreference). The elected candidate is the member with the most first preference (i.e: ‘1’) votes. Inthe case of a tie, the second preference votes are counted and checked for a majority, and so on.The candidate with the majority of the highest ranked untied preferences will be elected.
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT ASSOCIATIONLevel 1, Union Building (Student Hub)Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001P 08 8201 2371E [email protected] W fusa.edu.auABN 70 153 054 143Should we run an online election or in meeting?The club is welcome to run their election either online or in meeting, provided the process is fair anddemocratic, and sufficient notice of the candidates is provided to the club’s membership to make aninformed decision.An online service like BallotBin will handle your election needs. Alternatively, you can run an inperson meeting by using the resources provided in the Secretary Toolkit, which can be found in theManage Your Club section of the FUSA website, where you can quickly print out Ballot Papers,agendas and election instructions.How will the members compare the candidates?Members will need a Candidate Statement from each candidate to ensure they can make a wellconsidered decision. Candidate Statements are simply statements from the candidate regardingwhy they feel they should get the job. It is important that these all statements are provided to themembership at the same time, or else you will risk providing candidates at a disadvantage.Statements can be gathered and emailed to the members in a document, or posted online via yoursocial media page. Alternatively, candidates can each provide a statement verbally in meeting.You should also consider how members will ask candidates questions to get a better understandingof each candidate’s suitability for the job. Will you allow members to ask questions online? Willthere be a time for questions in meeting? Can members contact candidates directly? Whichevermethod is fine, but be sure to decide on this before preparing your election.
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT ASSOCIATIONLevel 1, Union Building (Student Hub)Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001P 08 8201 2371E [email protected] W fusa.edu.auABN 70 153 054 143The ‘One Vote’ SystemThe ‘One Vote’ System is a simple election system that can be conducted quickly with very littlepreparation. This system is ideal for elections with two candidates, however is less representative ofthe preferences of the membership in elections with more than two members.The process for a ‘One Vote’ election is as follows:1. Members vote for ONE candidate only2. The candidate with the most votes is wins the election.3. In the event of a tie, a non-voting, nominated person (typically the Returning Officer) casts adeciding vote. Alternatively, a nominated person (such as the Chairperson) will receive a secondvote.Benefits of using a One Vote System1. Very easy to set up and run2. Votes can be quickly counted3. Ideal for positions with two candidatesComplications with using a One Vote System1. More prone to ties than the ‘Ranked Voting’ system.2. Not ideal for elections with more than two candidates (as preferences are not considered).3. The elected candidate can be chosen by a single member (typically Returning Officer orChairperson) in the event of a tie.
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT ASSOCIATIONLevel 1, Union Building (Student Hub)Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001P 08 8201 2371E [email protected] W fusa.edu.auABN 70 153 054 143The ‘Ranked Voting’ SystemThe ‘Ranked Voting’ System (sometimes known as a ‘Preferential Voting’ System) is a more accuratevoting system than the ‘One Vote’ system, as members rank the candidates in order of preference.Consequently, the elected member is more likely to be the candidate preferred by the club’smembership.The process for a ‘Ranked Voting’ election is as follows:1. Members rank candidates in their order of preference numberically (e.g: ‘1’ for first preference,‘2’ for second preference, etc.)2. The first preferences are counted.3. If a candidate has a clear majority of first preferences, they win the election.4. If there is a tie for first preference, the second preferences of the tied candidates are thencounted separately and checked for a majority.5. If there is a tie for second preference, third preferences are then counted, and so on until thereis a majority of the highest untied preferences.6. If there is a tie in all preferences, a nominated person (typically the Returning Officer) will makea final vote between the tied candidates.Benefits of using a Ranked Voting System1. Ideal for elections with more than three candidates2. Ties are very unlikely3. More representative of member preferences4. Reduces possibility of ‘spoiler effect’; where two similar candidates divide the votes of a group,allowing a third (less popular) candidate to gain the majority.Complications with using a Ranked Voting System1. Voting is a longer process2. Counting votes takes longer than ‘One Vote’ system in the event of ties3. More prone to error (not numbering all candidates, missing numbers, etc.)4. Prompts members to provide preferences for candidates they may not wish to support.
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT ASSOCIATIONLevel 1, Union Building (Student Hub)Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001P 08 8201 2371E [email protected] W fusa.edu.auABN 70 153 054 143Preparing for an ElectionWhether online or in-meeting, the results of your election will need to be confirmed in a GeneralMeeting. This may be your Annual General Meeting, or may be another General Meeting asrequired by your Club Constitution. To prepare for either election, follow the steps below.1. Decide on a date, time and location for a General Meeting2. Book a room for the meeting via the FUSA Event Registration Form. Tip: The FUSA ClubSpace offers a central location and is ideal for running meetings!3. Once the room is booked, email the club membership with the details of the GeneralMeeting at least one week prior to the meeting. In the email, advise the membership of theupcoming vacancies and ask them to submit their nominations for the position by a specifieddeadline prior to the meeting (this may be dictated by your constitution, or you can set adate yourself). You should also request submissions for Agenda items for the meeting.4. Email the General Secretary of Student Council via [email protected] withthe details of the General Meeting at least one week before the meeting date.5. Ensure an item for elections is included in agenda (if the elections are held in-meeting), anda motion to accept the elected members is included in the agenda (whether in-meeting oronline).6. After the deadline for nominations, gather the nominations and announce the candidates tothe membership via email, also providing the members with the updated agenda.7. Print ballot forms (if an in-meeting election) or set up online voting system with candidatesand bring a stash of pens.
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT ASSOCIATIONLevel 1, Union Building (Student Hub)Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001P 08 8201 2371E [email protected] W fusa.edu.auABN 70 153 054 143Running an In-Meeting ElectionRunning an in-meeting election is easy to organise; however voting is generally less representative ofthe club membership than an online election, as voting is limited to those who attend the meeting.To run an in-meeting election, simply follow the steps below.Step 1: Candidate statements1. Note: This will only apply if candidate statements were not provided prior to the meeting2. Announce candidates for each position to the membership3. Advise members that before voting begins, each candidate will have X minutes to provide theirstatement for why they should be elected, followed by X minutes to answer questions4. Ask other candidates for the position to leave the room while a candidate provides theirstatement and answers questions.5. Time the candidates’ statements and question time, reminding them when 30 seconds remain.Move the candidate on if they do not finish by the allotted time.6. Continue until all candidates have spoken.Step 2: Voting1. Hand ballot papers out for each position to members, ensuring they receive one for eachposition only.2. [For ‘One Vote’ System]a. Explain to members that they must select one candidate on the ballot paper only, with an X,tick, or ‘1’.b. Advise members that other preferences will not be counted.c. Advise members that the candidate with the most nominations will win.d. Advise members that if there is a tie, the Returning Officer will submit a vote.2. [For Ranked Voting System]a. Explain to members that they must rank their preferences in order, with ‘1’ being their firstpreference, ‘2’ being their second preference, and so on.b. Explain that if sheets are marked with an ‘X’ or tick will be treated as the preference ‘1’ for acandidate if marked, and if there is a tie for first preference, their vote will not count forsecond and subsequent preferences.
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT ASSOCIATIONLevel 1, Union Building (Student Hub)Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001P 08 8201 2371E [email protected] W fusa.edu.auABN 70 153 054 143c. Explain that if there is a majority of first preference votes for any candidate, the candidate willwin. If there is a tie, then the second and subsequent preferences will be counted and checkeduntil there is a majority in the highest untied preference.3. Ask members to vote and submit their ballot sheets to the Returning Officer.Step 3: Counting the Vote1. [For ‘One Vote’ System]a. Separate the ballot papers into each position.b. For each position, record the number of votes for each candidate.c. Check for a majority of votes.d. In the event of a tie, have the Returning Officer include their vote for one of the tiedcandidates.2. Record the names of the elected candidates for each position.3. [For ‘Ranked Voting’ System]a.Separate the ballot papers into each position.b.For each position, record the number of votes marked ‘1’ for each candidate.c.Check to see if a candidate has the majority of ‘1’ votes.d.If there is a tie for the majority of ‘1’ votes, count the votes for each of the tied candidatesmarked ‘2’. If there is a tie for the majority of ‘2’ votes, count the votes for each of thecandidates marked ‘3’. Continue to do so until there is a majority.e.If there is still no majority after all preferences have been counted, have the Returning Officervote for one of the tied candidates.4. Ensure the Minute-Taker records the names of the elected candidates for each position.Step 3: Announcement and motion to accept newly elected members1. Announce the elected members and their respective positions2. Motion to accept the elected members as members of the association.3.Ensure the Minute-Taker records the name of the carrier of the motion, and the name of themember who seconds the motion.
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT ASSOCIATIONLevel 1, Union Building (Student Hub)Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001P 08 8201 2371E [email protected] W fusa.edu.auABN 70 153 054 143Running an Online ElectionRunning an Online Election requires more preparation in advance, however is more representativeof the preferences of the club membership than an in-meeting election as members do not need toattend a meeting to vote. These instructions use Ballotbin in its examples as a free online electionservice, however you are welcome to use others. Services such as SurveyMonkey can also be used torun elections, and instructions for how to do so can be found HERE.Step 1: Candidate statements and voting system preparation1. Collect written Candidate Statements from each Candidate.2. Sign up for a Ballotbin account and log in3. New Bin Sectiona. Click “new” under the “Your Bins” section on the right hand side of the page.b. Enter a name for the election in the “New Bin Name” field (e.g: “Flinders University FakeSociety Election”)c. Select “Basic” in the “Survey Questions” sectiond. In the Election Questions section, select “Basic Plurality Election” for an election using the‘One Vote’ system, or select “Advanced (Ranked-Pairs) Election” to use a ‘Ranked Voting’system.e. Press the ‘OK’ button
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT ASSOCIATIONLevel 1, Union Building (Student Hub)Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001P 08 8201 2371E [email protected] W fusa.edu.auABN 70 153 054 1434. Properties sectiona. Select the “Properties” tab at the top of the windowb. Select the Timezone in the ‘Timezone’ section. This should be GMT 9:30 hours or GMT 10:30hours during Daylight Saving Time. If the Timezone is not available, select the closestTimezone and note the time difference (e.g: GMT 9 is half an hour behind GMT 9:30, so youmay need to compensate for this).c. Enter the Start and End dates in the “Start Date” and “End Date” fields. Note that this shouldbe entered in YYYY-MM-DD format in Ballotbin.d. Enter the Start Time and End Times. If there is a difference in Timezone be sure tocompensate for this (e.g: If the selected timezone is “GMT 9” and you want the election tostart at 12:00pm, enter “11:30am” or “10:30am” during Daylight Saving Time.e. In the Publish Results field, select “To Admin During and Voters After Election/Survey” toallow the Returning Officer to view results during the election, and voters will be advised after
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT ASSOCIATIONLevel 1, Union Building (Student Hub)Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001P 08 8201 2371E [email protected] W fusa.edu.auABN 70 153 054 143the election.If you would not like the Admin to see the results until after the election is complete, select“To Admin and Voters only after Election/Survey”.f. In the Section Order, select “Survey Then Election Questions”g. In the Security Method, select “Ballotbin sends registration codes to voters by email” to sendthe registration codes through Ballotbin (most secure method).h. Click “Save Changes”5. Election Questions sectiona. Select the “Ballot” tab at the top of the windowb. The ‘Survey Questions’ section is not requiredc. In the Election Questions section, enter the name of the position under the Heading fieldd. [One Vote System] Select “Plurality” in the ‘Type of Vote’ field and “1” in the “votes(s) ingroup per voter” field.c. [Ranked Voting System] Select “Ranked Pairs” in the ‘Type of Vote’ field.d. Click “OK”. Repeat steps (b) and (c) for each position up for election.
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT ASSOCIATIONLevel 1, Union Building (Student Hub)Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001P 08 8201 2371E [email protected] W fusa.edu.auABN 70 153 054 143e. Under the position heading (e.g: President), click “Add a New Candidate/Option” and enterthe candidate details for each candidate for that position, by entering the candidate’s name inthe “Candidate/Option” field, and the candidate’s statement in the “Biography” section. HitOK.f. Repeat (e) for all candidates under each position heading (e.g: President, Secretary andTreasurer).6. Voters sectiona. Select “Voters”b. In the “Add New Voters” section, copy your list of member email addresses into the field,making sure each email address is on a separate line. Click “Add Voters”.7. Notices sectiona. Select the ‘Notices’ tab at the top of the windowb. Select “Registration Latter (registers new voters and tells them how to vote)” in the ‘Send aLetter’ section.c. Enter a message in the “Your Message to Voters” field, explaining what the election is for.
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT ASSOCIATIONLevel 1, Union Building (Student Hub)Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001P 08 8201 2371E [email protected] W fusa.edu.auABN 70 153 054 143d. Click “Send” to send the notice of the Election to your membershipStep Two: Voting and Counting the Vote1. Each member will receive an email from Ballotbin allowing them to vote. Advise your membersto look out for this email from Ballotbin (checking their junk email if necessary), and click thelink to vote for candidates.2. Select “Reminder Letter (sent to those who have not voted yet)” and add a message in the“Your Message to Voters” to send a reminder nearby the deadline letting your members knowthat the election deadline is near.3. Once the election has ended, members will be notified of the results. You can also log in andclick the “Results” tab to find the results of the election.Step Three: Motion to confirm at General Meeting1. At the General Meeting, announce the results of the online election2. Raise a motion to confirm the elected candidates in the online election in their positions for theclub (i.e: “MOTION: That the Flinders University Fake Society accepts the elected candidates asthe President, Secretary and Treasurer of the club”)3. Ensure the minute-taker records the carrier and seconders’ names of the motion in the officialminutes.
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT ASSOCIATIONLevel 1, Union Building (Student Hub)Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001P 08 8201 2371E [email protected] W fusa.edu.auABN 70 153 054 143Queries and ContactsFor queries about running club elections, feel free to either the Clubs Officer of FUSA or the GeneralSecretary of Student Council via the details below.Adam RauClubs and Events OfficerFlinders University Student Associationp: (08) 8201 2953e: [email protected] SecretaryFUSA Student Councile: [email protected]
clubs also include a Vice President as a member of their executive. Committee: The club's executive and/or membership (depending on the club's constitution) may elect club members into committee positions in charge of particular portfolios (such as marketing, events, sponsorship, etc.) to assist them in the operation of the club.