Student Union Elections – The Challenge – Organising a multi-ballot students’ union election is difficult at the best of times. Organising election services in a large institution like City University, with 17,000 registered students from 160 countries was always going to be a considerable challenge. However, it’s the kind of challenge that UK Engage has faced before and successfully delivered on. City University Students’ Union asked UK Engage to manage the complex 2013 Students’ Union elections for full time and part time officers, and to provide a comprehensive electoral support service tailored to the requirements of Students’ Unions. The challenge was to deliver elections services that were accessible and reached the widest student base whilst meeting all the constitutional requirements.
The Solution – UK Engage was asked to deliver a fully-managed integrated election which attracted the widest possible student audience in accordance with the Students’ Union regulations. UK Engage was also tasked with providing a Returning Officer service and dealing with the enquiries and complaints about the conduct of candidates in accordance with the Students’ Union regulations. We issued a total of 15 clearly designed ballot papers for all the various elections that were to take place. Electors were only allowed to vote in certain contests, and this vote was determined in accordance with their franchise. Voting was conducted by means of both the Internet and through 4 Polling Stations across the University’s many campuses. UK Engage also delivered a transparent on-site vote counting service and provided a full Returning Officer Service.
The Result – UK Engage and City University were delighted by the increased turnout for the fourth year in succession. 2,296 student votes were cast in total: the highest for any City University Student’s Union election. In spite of the increased complexity of the 2013 elections, UK Engage was still in a position to report the results prior to the allocated time. Many of the elected candidates thanked UK Engage for running an efficient and accessible election and for delivering an exceptionally professional service. Students’ Union General Manager Aidan McDonald said:
“City University and UK Engage have worked together successfully to promote democracy and transparency. Our elections are complex cross-campus affairs that require a meticulous level of planning. UK-Engage provide a service that is unrivalled in its attention to detail and even though the count was much more complex this year the election results were delivered in record time.”