Democracy Committee Minutes - 19/11

Minutes of a meeting of the Democracy Committee held on 19th December 2020

Present: Torkel Loman (Returning Officer and Chair), Charlie Innes, Richard Danylyuk, Josh Jones, Ben Margolis, Matt Kite (SU Democratic Support Manager, non-voting)

  1. Error in polls closing time
    1. The polls for NUS delegate and academic rep elections were set to close at 7pm rather than 5pm in error. The polls were closed at 17:16 when this was discovered. 17 votes were cast in this time period.
    2. The website at the point of voting said that 7pm was the closing time, but the formal documentation and all publicity said that 5pm would be the finish time.
    3. The committee resolved that votes cast after 5pm should be discounted, and noted that this would require a delay in the result publication while this was resolved.
  2. Concern about Mathematics Rep election (see below)
    1. The Committee noted a concern raised by a candidate for the Mathematics (UG) Rep about potential “wasted” votes that had been cast for a candidate who was then disqualified due to an error. (see statement on 16/11/20)
    2. The Committee agreed that the preferential voting system, where any votes cast for the disqualified candidate would be transferred to the next preference of the voter, was sufficient to mitigate this concern.
    3. The Committee delegated to the SU Staff to write back to the candidate and explain the Committee’s decision, including providing more information about how votes cast for a disqualified candidate would be handled.
  3. NUS Delegate Gender Self-ID
    1. Candidates for NUS Delegate had been asked to confirm whether they self-identified as being eligible for the NUS delegate places gender quota. It had come to the Committees attention that some candidates who might self-identify as women had not certified themselves as such, and that if this were in error then those candidates could be disadvantaged in the election.
    2. The Committee agreed that they should go back to all candidates and confirm gender self-identification, even if this required a short delay in results.
  4. Results
    1. NUS delegate
    2. Campaigns
    3. Academic Reps

The committee then reviewed the provisional results, noting that these could change as a result of 1c.

  1. Turnout and other reporting
    1. The committee reviewed turnout in the election.
  2. Next Meeting
    1. It was agreed that a Doodle Poll would be circulated for the next meeting before end of term.



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