Elections Procedures


Application


These procedures apply to elections called for by the Returning Officer.

Purpose


This document provides procedures for running electronic elections.

Procedures


Contents

  1. Returning officer.
  2. Electors and candidates.
  3. Election dates, notice of election and call for candidates.
  4. Candidates.
  5. When the number of candidates does not exceed the number of positions.
  6. When the number of candidates exceeds the number of positions.
  7. Withdrawal of candidacy.
  8. Method of voting.
  9. Validity of votes.
  10. Counting of votes.
  11. Equality of votes.
  12. Declaration of result.
  13. Re-run.
  14. Destruction/deletion of votes.
  15. Casual vacancies.
  16. Terms of Office. 

1.    Returning Officer

The Registrar is the Returning Officer for elections conducted under these procedures. 

2.    Electors and candidates

For each election, the Returning Officer must set the date on which each person’s eligibility to vote and to be a candidate in that election is determined. On that date, the Returning Officer must compile a list of all persons who are eligible to vote (’electors’) and to be candidates in that election (‘eligible candidates’). 

3.    Election dates, notice of election and call for candidates

        a)    The Returning Officer:

                (i)    is to set the start and finish date and time for each election;

                (ii)    is to give notice of an election and call for notices of candidacy no less than 25 working days before the start date for the election; and

                (iii)    will set the closing date and time by which notices of candidacy must be received (‘candidacy notice closing date’). The candidacy notice closing date must not be less than 15 working days from the date of the notice of election.

        b)    The notice of election:

                (i)    must be given to all electors and eligible candidates at their University email address, in such University publications, as the Returning Officer may require; and

                (ii)    is to contain details of the election, including but not limited to:

                        a.    The name of the election;

                        b.    The number of positions to be filled;

                        c.    Election start and finish date and time;

                        d.    Method of voting;

                        e.    Availability of candidacy forms;

                        f.    Criteria for eligibility of electors and candidates;

                        g.    The candidacy notice closing date and time; and

                        h.    The contact details for the Returning Officer to which notices of candidacy and all other communications arising under these procedures are to be addressed 

4.    Candidates

To be a candidate for election an eligible candidate must submit to the Returning Officer an authenticated notice of candidacy. 

        a)    The notice of candidacy must:

                (i)    Be in the format specified by the candidacy form;

                (ii)    Include a personal statement of eligibility and availability;

                (iii)    Be received by the Returning Officer at the contact address specified in the election notice before the candidacy notice closing date; 

                (iv)    Include a supporting statement that:

                        a.    does not exceed:

                        b.    complies with any restrictions on content and format determined by the Returning Officer;

                        c.    includes information about the candidate that is relevant, accurate and fair; and

                        d.    relates only to the candidate.

               (v)    Include confirmation that the candidate is either employed permanently or on a fixed term contract that extends beyond the term of office.

        b)    The Returning Officer may allow a candidate who has submitted a notice of candidacy that does not comply with the notice requirements to revise and resubmit the notice before the candidacy notice closing date so as to comply with these requirements.    

        c)    Except as otherwise provided in this section, the Returning Officer must reject any candidacy notice that does not meet the above requirements or that is submitted by a person who is not an eligible candidate. Where a candidacy notice is rejected, the Returning Officer must in writing notify the person who submitted the notice and provide reasons for the rejection.

        d)    The Returning Officer must acknowledge receipt of every valid notice of candidacy in such manner as they see fit. 

5.    When the number of candidates does not exceed the number of positions

If the number of candidates does not exceed the number of positions to be filled, the Returning Officer must, as soon as practicable after the candidacy notice closing date, declare the candidate or candidate selected and any positions not filled to be casual vacancies by giving notice in such University publications as the Returning Officer sees fit.

6.    When the number of candidates exceeds the number of positions

If, after the candidacy notice closing date, the number of candidates exceeds the number of positions to be filled, the Returning Officer must:

        a)    give notice that the election will proceed (including the start and finish date and time for the election) and promulgate the names of the candidates and their candidate statements in such University publications as the Returning Officer sees fit; and

        b)    send instructions for voting by email addressed to each elector at their University email address. 

7.    Withdrawal of candidacy

        a)    A candidate at an election may withdraw their candidacy by authenticated notice to the Returning Officer.

        b)    Notification to the Returning Officer of the death or incapacity of a candidate is deemed to be a notice of withdrawal.

        c)    Where the Returning Officer receives a notice of withdrawal they must:

                (i)    Take such steps (if any) as the Returning Officer decides to confirm that the notice of withdrawal is genuine;

                (ii)    Where the instructions for voting have not yet been distributed, and where practicable, remove the candidate’s name from the election or give notice of the withdrawal in such University publications as they see fit; and

                (iii)    Where the instructions for voting have been distributed, take such steps as are practicable to advise the electors that the candidate has withdrawn and ensure that the name of the withdrawn candidate is removed from the candidate list for that election.

        d)    A vote cast for a withdrawn candidate is void.

        e)    If, by the withdrawal of a candidate, the number of candidates is equal to or less than the number of positions to be filled, section 5 will apply. 

8.    Method of voting

An elector who chooses to vote must exercise their vote personally in accordance with the instructions for voting sent by the Returning Officer. Where however an elector:

        (i)    is wholly or partially blind; or

        (ii)    has any other disability which makes it difficult to cast their vote in the prescribed manner,

        that elector’s vote may be recorded by another person in accordance with the instructions of the elector. 

9.    Validity of votes

A vote in an election is valid only if:

        a)    the elector’s username or any similar or equivalent identification adopted by the University is entered into the electronic voting system;

        b)    the elector’s University password or any similar or equivalent password adopted by the University is entered into the electronic voting system;

        c)    the elector has not already exercised their vote in that election; and

        d)    the elector’s vote is recorded on the day or days of the election. 

10.    Counting of votes

Votes are tallied electronically.

11.    Equality of votes

Where two or more candidates get an equal number of votes, the Returning Officer must determine by lot which candidate will be declared elected. 

12.    Declaration of result

The Returning Officer is to declare the result of the election, giving the name or names of the candidates elected and the number of votes gained by each candidate in the election as soon as reasonably practicable after close of voting.

13.    Re-run

        a)    Where an online election fails to give the final result or the result is incorrect due to a technical reason, the Returning Officer may decide to re-run the election.

        b)    A re-run must be carried out as soon as reasonably practicable, by such means as the Returning Officer sees fit.

        c)    Where the Returning Officer directs a re-run, candidates must be notified of the necessity of a re-run and it must follow the same process as the original election.

14.    Destruction/deletion of votes

The Returning Officer is to arrange for all records of electors’ votes to be destroyed or deleted in a manner which ensures that the confidentiality of voting information is preserved, no earlier than: 

        a)    three months after the declaration of the result of an election; or

        b)    if the Returning Officer has directed an election re-run, three months after the Returning Officer has declared the results of the re-run;

which ever is the later. 

15.    Casual vacancies

        a)    Occurring during the term of office of a duly elected member.

                I.    A casual vacancy arises when the Returning Officer is advised that member has:

                        (i)    died;

                        (ii)    become disqualified to hold office under The Senate and Committee Elections Statute or any voting statute or by operation of any applicable law of New Zealand;

                        (iii)    been declared bankrupt;

                        (iv)    become mentally disordered within the meaning of the Mental Health  (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992;

                        (v)    resigned office by notice in writing to the Registrar;

                        (vi)    been convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment; or

                        (vii)    otherwise become ineligible to remain an elected member in accordance with the Senate and Committee Election Statute or under the applicable terms of reference.

                II.    A casual vacancy that occurs within one year of the end of a term of office remains unfilled and will be included in the next election.

                III.    Where a casual vacancy arises under section 15(a) more than one year before the end of the term of office, that vacancy may be filled for the remainder of the term.

                IV.    When a casual vacancy has occurred that has not been filled prior to giving notice for an upcoming election, the vacancy will cease to be a casual vacancy and will be included in that election.

                V.    Where a person is appointed to fill a casual vacancy, their term of office will expire at the same time that the original office holder’s term of office would have expired. 

        b)    Arising from insufficiency of candidates in an election.

                I.    Where the Returning Officer declares a casual vacancy for Senate under section 5:

                        (i)    If the casual vacancy relates to the Lecturers’ Representatives of Faculties, the relevant Faculty will submit nominations to Senate for approval.

                        (ii)    If the casual vacancy relates to the Lecturers’ Representatives At-large, the Vice-Chancellor will submit nominations to Senate for approval.

                II.    Where the Returning Officer declares a casual vacancy under section 5 for a Committee of Senate, the Committee will submit a nomination to Senate for approval. 

                III.    Where the Returning Officer declares a casual vacancy under section 5 for Staff Advisory Committee and University Academic Staffing Committee, the Chair will propose a nomination to the Committee for approval.

                IV.    Where the Returning Officer declares a casual vacancy under section 5 for a Senate elected position on University Honours Committee, the Chair will submit a nomination to Senate for approval. 

16. Term of Office

Except as otherwise provided in these Procedures or in the Council Appointment Statute 2019 for appointments by election on Council, the term of office of every person elected will be three years and begin with effect from the first day of February next following their election.

Definitions


The following definitions apply to this document: 

Candidate means a candidate for election to Senate, Committees of Senate, University Honours Committee, Staff Advisory Committee and University Academic Staffing Committee.

Council means the Council of the University constituted in accordance with Part 15 of the  Education Act 1989, and the governing body of the University as defined in University of  Auckland Act 1961 and s165(1) of the Education Act 1989].

Elector means a person eligible to vote under the Senate and Committee Elections Statute.

Registrar means the Registrar of the University as defined in the University of Auckland Act 1961.

Senate means the academic board established in accordance with s182(2) of the Education  Act 1989.

Statement means a candidate’s supporting statement for a specified election which must be made in accordance with these Election Procedures.

University means the University of Auckland.

University publications may be in hard copy or electronic form and includes magazines, newsletters and websites which may be used by the University from time to time.

Vice-Chancellor is the person currently holding office as the Chief Executive Officer of the University; and includes any person

a.    acting temporarily in that capacity; or

b.    acting under the delegated authority of the Vice-Chancellor

 

Document management and control


Content manager: Registrar

Approved by: Council

Date approved: 26 August 2019 

Date last reviewed: 11 March 2019