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Academic Board Committee Election Procedures

Approved by Academic Board Meeting No. 97/1 of 10 February 1997

1 Electorate

All full-time members of the academic staff of the University of Canberra are eligible to nominate or to second the nomination of a candidate and to be nominated as a candidate. Members of Academic Board shall be entitled to vote and act as scrutineers. Each member of Academic Board shall be entitled to one vote in any election to a committee.

2 Returning Officer

The returning officer for elections shall be the Secretary of Council or his/her nominee. The returning officer shall have full power and authority to determine all procedural matters relating to an election. The returning officer may appoint other officers to assist in the counting of the vote.

3 Notice of Election

The returning officer shall send to all members of academic staff a notice of election and call for nominations. Such notice shall be published not more than 12 weeks and not less than 6 weeks before the expiry of the term of office of the relevant elected member(s) and shall include the conditions pursuant to section 4.

4 Nominations

Nominations shall be in writing, include an undertaking that the nominee will be available to serve the term of membership of the relevant committee, be signed by the nominee and the nominator, and be lodged with the returning officer by the date specified for the close of nominations. Nominations should be accompanied with brief cvs which draw attention to special expertise.

Serving members of committees may be nominated for election, but may not serve more than 2 consecutive terms.

A nominator shall not nominate a number of candidates for each committee greater than the number of vacancies to be filled.

Nominations shall remain open at least 7 days. Nominations shall close at least 7 days before a meeting of Academic Board at which a ballot may be conducted.

If the number of candidates does not exceed the number of vacancies for each committee the returning officer shall declare each candidate elected in the manner provided in section 7.

If the number of candidates exceeds the number of vacancies the election shall be by ballot.

If insufficient nominations are received for a committee the Chair of Academic Board may coopt a person or persons to sit on that committee, with full voting rights and responsibilities, until the next election is held.

5 Conduct of Ballot

Where a ballot is required Academic Board may resolve to conduct that ballot as part of the proceedings of one of its duly constituted meetings.

Where a postal ballot is required the returning officer shall, not more than 7 days after the last day for receiving nominations, send to each member of Academic Board:

  • a voting paper, containing the names of candidates for each committee for which a ballot is necessary, in an order determined by lot and an envelope marked Academic Board Committees Voting Paper;
  • an identification declaration;
  • notice of the day appointed for the election, which shall be not less than 14 days and not more than 28 days after the close of nominations;
  • notice of the place where voting papers may be lodged and a return envelope.

The ballot closes at a time determined by the returning officer on the day appointed for the election.

The returned envelopes containing the envelope marked Academic Board Committees Voting Paper shall be opened from time to time as decided by the returning officer, and if there is doubt as to the correctness of the declaration, the decision of the returning officer as to the acceptability of it and the voting paper shall be final.

The voter's name appearing on the identification declaration shall be checked against a list of members of Academic Board and, if in order, receipt shall be indicated against the name on the list and the envelope which is marked Academic Board Committees Voting Paper removed from the envelope and placed unopened in the ballot box set aside for this purpose.

6 Voting

The system of voting to be used shall be a full preferential system and, in order for the vote to be a formal vote, the voter shall be required to record a vote indicating her/his preference for each of the candidates listed on the ballot paper, numbering the preferences from 1 to the number equal to the total number of candidates.

A candidate for election may act, or may appoint another member to act, as scrutineer of the vote.

As soon as practicable after the close of the ballot, the returning officer shall, with the assistance of the scrutineers, scrutinise the ballot papers and eliminate any invalid votes. The returning officer shall then count and record the number of votes expressed for each candidate.

7 Election Result

In the case of any election at which one vacancy or two or more vacancies are to be filled the candidates who receive the most votes in order of preference equal to the number of vacancies, shall be elected, provided that each successful candidate has received votes in excess of half of the total number of those voters who cast formal votes.

If there are unfilled vacancies the candidate with the lowest score will be eliminated and her/his preferences distributed to those still remaining in the count. The process shall be repeated with the next lowest candidate until enough candidates have been identified with total votes in excess of half of the number of those who cast formal votes to fill the available vacancies. Those with the most votes in order of preference equal to the number of vacancies shall be elected.

8 Vote Counting Procedures

Vote counting procedures, including the distribution of preferences, will be as outlined below:

  1. the successful candidate is the one who obtains more than 50% of the total vote;
  2. where other preferences are distributed, they carry the same weight as first preference votes;
  3. first preferences are counted first. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the first preference vote she/he is elected with an absolute majority;
  4. if the count of first preference votes does not result in an absolute majority, the candidate with the least number of first preference votes is eliminated and her/his second preferences (the second preferences of voters who gave her/him their first preference) are allocated among the other candidates;
  5. the votes are counted again. If no candidate holds more than 50% of the vote, the candidate who is now holding the least number of votes is eliminated and her/his next preferences are allocated among the remaining candidates the process is repeated as often as necessary to establish a candidate who has not been eliminated.
  6. where a vote has already been allocated to a candidate under a prior allocation of preferences (eg second), and that candidate is now eliminated, the vote is allocated to the next preference on the ballot paper (eg third), or further preferences as necessary to allocate the vote to a candidate who has not been eliminated;
  7. if there is at any of the preference counts an equality of votes among candidates with the least number of votes, it is important to establish the order in which they will be eliminated, since the count must be conducted after the distribution of each candidate's preferences and thus the outcome would vary according to the nature of each candidate's preferences;

    In this situation the first candidate to be eliminated would be the one with the lower number of total votes at the previous count; and

  8. in the event of two remaining candidates each holding 50% of the vote, the decision would be made by lot;
    1. In an election where more than one vacancy is to be filled, for the first count of preferences only, all votes in order of preference down to the number equal to the number of vacancies are regarded as first preference votes, and any candidate or candidates who receive a total of such votes in excess of 50% of the number of voters who cast formal votes are successful;
    2. where vacancies remain, the candidate with the lowest score would be eliminated and her/his second preferences allocated among the other candidates;
    3. where the second preference has been indicated for a candidate already elected (assuming, for example that two were elected on the primary votes) the third preference would be allocated to another relevant candidate;
    4. this would be repeated in respect of other candidates holding the leat number of votes, with the highest preference indicated for a candidate not already elected or eliminated being allocated in the normal way until a sufficient number of candidates have been elected to fill the vacancies.

9 Ratification of results

The result of an election shall be placed before Academic Board for ratification at the meeting following the election.

10 Casual Vacancy

In the event of a casual vacancy being created by resignation or other reason, the above procedures shall be applied by the returning officer and any ballot necessary may be conducted as a part of the business of a duly constituted meeting of Academic Board.