Department Officers Elections Rules & Regulations 2023

January 6, 2023

General Regulations

The rules will be interpreted and enforced by the Returning Officer, who is responsible for the good conduct and administration of these elections and has the power to govern and interpret all matters relating to the election. The Guild will appoint Deputy Returning Officers and the Returning Officer may delegate any aspect of these regulations to Deputy Returning Officers.  

Where rules refer to candidates, this includes members who are participating in election activity on behalf of a candidate. The candidate is responsible for all action in relation to their election activity.

Further information can be found in the Elections Guidance which acts as a supplement to these rules and regulations.

Rules

1. Candidates will maintain the principles of a free and fair election.

2. Candidates will follow all laws, University regulations, and Guild policies and direction of University Campus Services, Estates, Estates Patrol, Grounds staff, and Guild staff while campaigning during the election period.

3. Every candidate will attend a candidate briefing session and submit declaration forms as required and in line with published deadlines.

Campaigning

4. Candidates will only engage in campaign activity which is accessible for all students wherever possible.

4a. The Guild and University must remain impartial, and candidates must not ask them to compromise their impartiality

5. Candidates are not permitted to campaign in any voting zones

6. Physical campaigning may begin from 10:00 on the 20th February and must end by the time voting closes.

6a. For the avoidance of doubt, physical campaigning is defined as distributing print media, use of banners, t-shirts, written materials, door knocking, and face-to-face conversations.
6b.
Candidates may only move or remove their own election materials.

7. Physical campaigning is only permitted between the hours of 7 in the morning and 9 in the evening.

8. Digital campaigning is allowed at all times from 10:00 on the 15th February, this includes direct messaging. Candidates must stop messaging a voter if requested by that voter.

9. Candidates must not engage in campaigning that causes personal harm or damage to candidates.

Finances

10. Candidates must follow all financial procedures.

10a. Candidates may not spend any money on their election campaign.

11. At all times, Guild resources will be offered equally to candidates to ensure fairness.

Voting

12. Voters must be allowed to cast their vote freely.

12a. Candidates must not communicate with voters once they have started to vote.
12b.
Candidates must not touch a device being used to vote.
12c.
Candidates cannot request members to fill out a ballot in front of them or provide them with devices for voting.

Endorsements

13. Candidates may run in groups where they endorse one another.

14. Candidate groups may not combine their financials (e.g. combine their funds, buy items together, etc.)

Complaints

1. All members can to submit a complaint if they feel any rule has been breached.

2. All complaints must be submitted through the Elections Complaints Form and must refer to which rule has been breached. The Returning Officer will consider no other form of complaint.

3. Complaints should be submitted as soon as possible to enable the Returning Officer to make rulings.

4. Complaints related to any part of the campaign must be received before the close of voting.

5. All complaints will be resolved before the vote count takes place.

6. Once the vote count begins, only complaints about the count itself will be considered.

7. The Returning Officer (or Deputy Returning Officer) will not consider complaints without sufficient evidence.

8. The Returning Officer (or Deputy Returning Officer) shall make rulings on complaints within 1 working day of receipt.

9. The Returning Officer (or Deputy Returning Officer) may take action without receiving of a complaint if they decide this is necessary.

10. Any candidate who breaches the rules will:

10a. In the first instance, be given a written warning.
10b. In the second instance, be given a second and final written warning.
10c. And in the last resort, be disqualified from the election.

11. The Returning Officer may consider immediate disqualification where serious misconduct or a substantial breach of the rules has occurred.

12. Being unaware of rules or regulations will not be accepted as an excuse for any breach of the rules.

13. Any appeal must be received within 1 working day of a ruling being communicated.

14. The ruling of the Returning Officer is final and may not be appealed.