OUR PROCEDURES FOR GOVERNING ALL ELECTIONS & REFERENDUM
Executive and Board Elections
Nomination Package shall be prepared by the CRO and be available to all Members. Board Elections and Executive Elections packages will include:
Members shall be notified of any Referendum at least one (1) month prior to the proposed date of a Referendum.
Notice of any Referendum shall include the following information:
A Referendum may be called by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Board of Directors or after ratifying a members Petition requesting that a Referendum be called.
The date for the Referendum vote will be determined by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. Referenda should be conducted in conjunction with an Election whenever possible.
Referendum Parties shall be formed from the membership and shall register with the CRO prior to the end of the Nomination Period. Said parties shall campaign either for or against a given referendum question. For a given Referendum, there shall be no more than one official “Yes” Party, and one official “No” Party per Referendum question. Referendum Parties are responsible for their own organization and are bound by the same restrictions as Candidates running in any Elections.
All Candidates must be Members of LUSU who have properly complete and submit to the CRO the Nominee Application for the desired position by the deadline set out in the Nomination Package. All Candidates must be at least eighteen (18) years of age and cannot have served more than four (4) terms as a member of the Executive Committee if standing for an Executive position.
Current Executives who have or are about to complete one term in an Executive position may stand for election to the same or another elected position for another term.
In order to be considered a Candidate for an available position on the Board of Directors or the Executive Committee, a potential Candidate must submit a properly-completed (as determined by the CRO) Nominee Application to the CRO by the deadline identified in the Nomination Package. Late or incomplete Nominee Applications will not be accepted by the CRO.
Upon receipt of a properly completed Nominee Application, the CRO shall confirm with the Registrar that the potential Candidate is a Member in Good Standing and shall otherwise confirm that the potential Candidate meets all of the remaining eligibility criteria.
The CRO shall notify potential Candidates of the acceptance or rejection of their candidacy by sending an e-mail to the e-mail address identified in the potential Candidate’s Nomination Application within 24 hours of receipt of the completed Candidate’s Nomination Application. If the CRO has rejected a potential Candidate, the response shall provide detailed reasons for the rejection.
The CRO’s decision to accept or reject a potential Candidate may be appealed to the Elections Committee and then to the Internal Relations Committee.
The CRO shall make the status of all nominations public by posting a notice on the LUSU Website and in the LUSU Offices on or about the first day of the Campaign Period.
Each Candidate may appoint one (1) Agent to act on their behalf during the Campaign Period, Voting Period and Electronic Tabulation. The Agent shall be responsible for campaigning and representing the Candidate for whom they are acting as Agent. Any action of the Agent shall be considered an action of the Candidate. For clarity, Candidates shall be held responsible for any action of their respective Agent. An Agent must be a Member, but cannot be a Director, a member of the Executive Committee, a member of the Elections Committee, or Staff. A Candidate may remove their Agent at any time by submitting a written notice to the CRO. If an Agent is removed in this way the Candidate who removed the Agent may appoint another Agent.
All Candidates Meeting (“ACM”)
The ACM shall conclude the Nomination Period. All Candidates, or their respective Agents, must be present at the start and throughout the ACM. Failure to be in attendance in whole, or in part, of the ACM shall result in invalidation of the potential Candidate’s nomination.
The CRO shall announce the potential Candidates who have attained candidacy; present the timeline of the Election to all those in attendance at the All Candidates’ Meeting, summarize the policies governing the Election or referendum in question and answer any questions from candidates regarding the electoral process.
If there is no individual nominated for an Executive position or there are fewer Candidates for the Board of Directors than the minimum number required for either campus, the CRO shall run a By-Election for that position within two (2) Business Days of the All Candidates’ Meeting.
A Candidate may withdraw at any time after nomination and prior to the opening of polls by delivering to the CRO a written notice of their decision to withdraw. Once the notice has been received by the CRO, the Candidate may not reverse their decision to withdraw.
If a Candidate withdraws, the CRO (or their designate) shall remove the Candidate’s name from the Electronic Ballot and post on the LUSU Website and/or the Argus advising Members of the withdrawal and send an e-mail to all Members advising them of the withdrawal. If, after the withdrawal, there remain a number of Candidates greater than the number of elected positions available, notice of the candidate’s withdrawal shall be posted at all polls by the CRO. If, after the withdrawal, there are no remaining Candidates for an Executive position, or there are fewer Candidates for the Board of Directors than the minimum number required for either campus, the CRO shall call a By-Election for the position(s) in question.
Campaigning shall be limited to the boundaries of either Campus, with the exception of:
All Campaign materials must be approved in writing by the CRO prior to their distribution by Candidates online or in hardcopy. The CRO shall consult with the Argus to determine how all Candidates may be provided with advertising space in a standardized manner.
No Campaigning shall be permitted in the following areas:
Candidates must comply with all Lakehead University rules or regulations relating to postering and distributing leaflets. Each Candidate shall be restricted on spending on their campaign as follows. Any Candidate exceeding this limit shall be disqualified from the Election:
A detailed budget shall be submitted to the CRO by 4:30 PM on the last day of the Campaign Period. Said budget shall include all donated, used, and/or purchased materials, and all receipts to verify prices. If no expenses are incurred, a zero budget shall be submitted to the CRO. If no budget, or an incomplete budget, is submitted, the Candidate shall be disqualified.
Campaigning shall not:
All voting shall be done using an electronic voting system designed and administered by a vendor with no affiliation to Lakehead University or LUSU. The vendor must meet the basic requirements below to qualify:
Currently LUSU's electronic vendor is SimplyVoting.com
The Chief Returning Officer shall coordinate the administration of the electronic poll and shall coordinate with the vendor and related parties to prepare and execute all voting.
The Chief Returning Officer shall prepare the Electronic Poll for each office or Referendum question being considered, with each Candidate’s completed profile visible on the poll, or each Referendum’s “yes” or “no” side argument visible on the poll, as applicable.
The Chief Returning Officer shall upload the eligible voters list to the Electronic Poll, taking care to secure access to certain questions or offices to the appropriate subset of eligible voters, as applicable. For example, if a Referendum question is applicable to the Thunder Bay Campus, the Chief Returning Officer shall ensure that the Referendum is only accessible to eligible voters studying at the Thunder Bay Campus.
The Chief Returning Officer shall ensure that each Candidate’s name s listed on the appropriate ballot in alphabetical order by surname (or in random order for each voter, if the Electronic Poll supports such a feature). A given name or appropriate nickname (as submitted on the Nominee Application) shall be listed along with the surname. In cases where a nickname is used by the Candidate, it shall be accepted according to provincial election law. For clarity, one or more given names may be replaced by a nickname by which the Candidate is publicly known and the nickname may be accompanied by the initial or initials of their given name. A Candidate who uses a nickname as described above shall, at the CRO’s request, provide evidence with documents or testimony that are determined by the CRO to be evidence of the common knowledge and public acceptance of this nickname.
Each ballot shall state the name of the office for which the Election is being held or the Referendum question being considered and provide the following instructions or similar:
The Elections Committee shall review the electronic ballots as prepared by the Chief Returning Officer and shall ensure that their content and construction adheres to the rules of this By-Law, fairly represents all Candidates, and gives no single Candidate an undue advantage. The Elections Committee shall then vote to approve the Electronic Poll’s contents, after which no changes shall be made without the consent of the Elections Committee.
Preparation of Voting Period
Prior the start of the Voting Period, the Chief Returning Officer shall construct an announcement to all Members declaring the start of the Voting Period. The announcement shall include the following:
Polling Station Procedure
Physical polling stations shall be made available for the Members to cast their electronic ballots during the election. The polling stations shall have at least two (2) workstations at which to cast a vote, and shall be staffed by two (2) poll clerks at all times during which the polling station is open. There shall be a minimum of five (5) polling stations on campus, with a minimum three (3) at the Thunder Bay campus and a minimum of two (2) at the Orillia campus. The polling stations shall be open during Business Hours on the ninth (9th), eleventh (11th), and twelfth (12th) Business Days of the Campaign Period. The CRO shall endeavour to provide polling stations that are equally accessible to all Members. This would include placing polling stations at locations removed from the main campus, such as the Faculties of Law and Education at the Thunder Bay Campus and Heritage Place at the Orillia Campus, for a reasonable duration during the Elections.
If for any reason a polling station does not open at the designated hour or voting is interrupted during operation, the CRO shall extend the hours of the polling station or open the polling station on the following Business Day or until a fair opportunity, as determined by the CRO, has been given for all eligible voters to vote.
The Electronic Tabulation shall begin when all the requirements have been met. The results for Elections and Referenda shall be decided by a simple majority of the votes cast by eligible voters, unless otherwise indicated by the Governing Documents.
A quorum of the Elections Committee shall be present when the results of the Electronic Poll are obtained from the software, are printed, and are signed by the Chief Returning Officer. One other member of the Elections Committee shall also sign the document as a witness.
Each Candidate, or their Agent, or both, may be present during the Electronic Tabulation. In the event of a tie in an Election or Referendum, all of the members of the Elections Committee shall cast a vote in an in-camera session of the Elections Committee. The result of the vote shall be signed by the CRO and one other member of the Elections Committee. For clarity, only the final results of the vote shall be publicized, and the individual members of the Elections Committee shall not give up their right to cast a vote by secret ballot.
At the conclusion of the Electronic Tabulation, the Chief Returning Officer shall submit to the President and the Chairperson a copy of the certified results of the Election and/or Referendum and shall post a copy of the results in the LUSU Offices.
The Chief Returning Officer shall contact all successful Candidates with the results within twenty-four (24) hours.
In the case that a Candidate declines their elected position within five (5) Business Days of the announcement of the results of the Election in question, the Candidate with the second-most votes for the position in question shall be certified as the Candidate-elect by the Chief Returning Officer.
Quorum for Elections, By-elections, and Referenda
Quorum for all Referenda shall be twenty percent (20%) of all Members across both campuses, if the Referenda affects both campuses; or twenty percent (20%) of all Members at a single campus, if the Referenda affects a single campus.
Quorum for all Elections and By-elections shall be ten percent (10%) of all Members across both campuses.
In the case of an Election, By-election, or Referenda not meeting the quorum requirements, it shall be declared invalid by the Elections Committee.
Results of Elections, By-elections, and Referenda
Once the Electronic Tabulation has concluded, and all valid disputes related to the Election and/or Referendum have been resolved, the CRO shall forthwith prepare and deliver the CRO Report to the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors shall not ratify the results of the Election in question until:
Ratification of any Election or Referendum shall be by two-thirds (2/3) majority. Notwithstanding, the Board must ratify the results of an Election, unless:
For clarity, any failed ratification shall result in the invalidation of the results of the Election in question. Should the results of any Election or Referendum fail to be ratified by the Board of Directors, a Re-vote shall be held no later than two (2) weeks after the decision not to ratify is made.
Should a re-vote be required notice shall be delivered to the Members through the print, web, and public announcements potentially including but not limited to mass emails and via social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Google+) and shall include information pertaining to available position(s), contact details of the CRO, and the date, time and locations of the polls; and the procedure set out in Sections 14. Should the results of a Re-vote fail to be ratified notification of the By-election shall be delivered within five (5) days of the decision by the Board of Directors. Said process shall begin no earlier than the first day of classes in the Fall Academic Term, and end no later than the last day of classes in the Fall Academic Term, with consideration given to any holidays or Fall Reading Week.
By-elections shall occur only when there is a vacancy on the Executive Committee, the minimum number of seats on the Board of Directors has not been filled, or a Re-vote has failed to be ratified.
The CRO shall assess all Violations, including Complaints lodged by Scrutineers, and assign penalties, as the CRO deems appropriate. For clarity, the determination of whether or not a Violation has occurred, or if any Demerit Points should be assessed, rests with the CRO.
All Complaints shall be in writing, sufficiently detailed and e-mailed, or submitted in hard-copy form to the LUSU Office, to the CRO by a Complainant as soon as possible after an alleged Violation has occurred, but in any event, no later than the final day of:
All Complaints shall contain information sufficient for the CRO to make a reasoned decision, including (but not necessarily limited to a reference to the provision(s) of By-Law #1 or the Supplementary Rule(s) in question that has allegedly been violated, a detailed description of the alleged Violation, or any evidence relevant to the Violation, if applicable; and names and contact information for witnesses, if applicable.
Depending on the availability of facts, the CRO may elect to make an immediate Ruling, or may make further inquiries of the Complainant or other parties before making a Ruling. The CRO shall use best efforts to ensure that all Rulings are made within twenty-four (24) hours of being submitted by the Complainant. If the CRO is not able to make a Ruling within twenty-four (24) hours, the CRO shall advise the Complainant accordingly.
All Rulings shall be communicated by e-mail to the Complainant, the affected Candidate (if applicable), and shall include:
The CRO shall reference the list of Violations resulting in Demerit Points as defined in “Appendix A”. when assessing the consequences of a violation. The list shall be presented to all potential Candidates at the ACM. The CRO may use their discretion with respect to the list in “Appendix A” and the point values for Violations may be increased or decreased at the CRO’s discretion, provided that such increases and decreases are assessed fairly and equally to all Candidates.
The CRO shall be empowered to levy any Demerit Points in respect of any Violation that has been disclosed to the Candidates during a particular Election or Referendum. If the CRO takes the position that a Violation has or is likely to occur, but no Demerit Points for that violation were disclosed to the Candidates the CRO shall forthwith inform all Candidates that an additional Violation leading to Demerit Points has been developed and provide a detailed description of that additional Violation and Demerit Point value. The CRO shall thereafter be entitled to levy Demerit Points for future occurrences of the Violation in question. For clarity, the CRO cannot issue Demerit Points if a Violation has not been disclosed as carrying Demerit Points. The CRO shall ensure that Demerit Points are awarded in a manner that is commensurate with the nature of the Violation.
The CRO shall assess the nature and number of Demerit Points accrued by a Candidate and may either:
In the event a winning Candidate in any election is disqualified and all appeals have been exhausted, the runner-up will take the place of the disqualified winner.
All alleged violations of the Election Rules shall be investigated and ruled upon, in the first instance, by the CRO, pursuant to the following guidelines:
Appeals of the CRO’s rulings can only be made to the Elections Appeals
Committee by Candidates not satisfied and acting reasonably. A ruling by
the CRO may be appealed to the Elections Committee. Eligible voters,
acting reasonably may also submit complaints. Such complaints shall must
include the following in writing to the Elections Committee:
No appeal will be considered by the Elections Committee unless it is in writing and is received within 24-hours of the receipt of any ruling made by the CRO. The elections Committee shall hear all appeals and make a ruling within forty-eight (48) hours of receiving notice of appeal. Where an appeal is received and is found to be complete, the Elections Committee shall rule on the appeal by either:
Rulings made by the Elections Committee may be appealed to the Internal Relations Committee within twenty-four (24) hours of having received the ruling. Candidates not satisfied, acting reasonably, with a ruling made by the Elections Committee may appeal to the Internal Relations Committee pursuant to the following regulations:
The Board of Directors may not amend rulings of the CRO or Elections Committee.
Penalty Suggested Demerit
LUSU By-Laws By-Law #2 - Chief Returning Officer and Elections Committee
By-Law #2 outlines the responsibilities of the CRO, DRO and the Elections Committee. Together, these bodies administer all Elections and Referenda of the Corporation.
Retention of Documents
The CRO shall collect the following records and documents and submit them to the President no later than March 1st of any given calendar year:
All records retained pursuant to this Section shall be retained indefinitely by the Corporation.
Chief Returning Officer (CRO)
There shall be one (1) CRO of the Corporation. The CRO shall:
Deputy Returning Officer (DRO)
There shall be two (2) DROs of the Corporation. One DRO shall be located at the Thunder Bay Campus, and the other at the Orillia Campus. Each DRO shall:
The Elections Committee shall consist of the following three (3) members:
If the CRO is unable to act as the chairperson, the CRO may appoint a DRO to act as their replacement. No member of the Elections Committee shall stand for any elected office during their term on the Committee. No member of the Elections Committee shall be an employee of the Corporation. Quorum for the Elections Committee shall be met when all members of the Elections Committee are present at a meeting.
Responsibilities of the Elections Committee
The Elections Committee shall assist the CRO in administering all Elections and Referenda. For example, and without limitation, the Elections Committee shall assist the CRO in:
In addition to the responsibilities set out above, the Elections Committee shall meet and be present during the Electronic Tabulation and shall witness the certification of the results.
The Elections Committee shall meet only as required by the CRO, as determined by the CRO at the CRO’s discretion. The Elections Committee and its members shall not exhibit bias towards any Candidate or position during any Election or Referendum. The Elections Committee may establish Supplementary Rules, at its discretion. If there is a conflict between Supplementary Rules established by the Elections Committee and those established by the CRO, the Supplementary Rules established by the CRO shall prevail.
Voting members of the Elections Committee shall only cast votes in an Election or Referendum in the case of a tie.