This schedule outlines the procedure for all Chester Students’ Union (CSU) elections. These regulations form the rules that are put in place to ensure that the all Chester Students’ Union elections are run fairly and smoothly. They must be read in conjunction with Chester Students’ Union Articles of Association. All CSU elections are governed by these regulations in accordance with the CSU Articles of Association. It is the sole responsibility of all candidates to read and understand all rules and regulations issued for use during elections, asking questions when appropriate. All candidates are strongly urged to approach the Returning Officer or nominated deputy, if they are unsure of any part of the election procedure including the rules and regulations. Ignorance of the rules is not an excuse. All candidates are responsible for the conduct and action of their supporters. Any breach of election regulations by either candidate or supporter will be seen as a violation.
1.0 The Returning Officer
1.1 The Returning Officer(RO) shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees and shall not be a member or employee of CSU.
1.2 The RO shall be responsible for the good conduct and administration of all Union elections and shall have sole responsibility for the interpretation of the Election regulations.
1.3 The RO may appoint Deputy Returning Officers to act on their behalf.
1.4 Subject to 5.6 the decision of the RO shall be final and binding.
2.0 Election Schedule
2.1 In consultation with the RO the Board will set an election timetable that ensures the timely election of the Officer Trustees, delegates to NUS conferences, and other Union committees.
2.2 If by-elections are required they will be held as soon as possible after the request from the Trustee Board.
3.1 The RO shall take all reasonable measures to ensure that all full members of CSU have access to stand and vote in any election.
3.2 In addition no member of CSU shall be allowed to stand for a sabbatical position:
3.2.1 if they have already held a sabbatical position at CSU for 2 or more years.
3.2.2 If they are under 18 on July 1st of their sabbatical year
3.2.3 If they are unable to fulfil the legal criteria for being a trustee
3.3 No member of CSU can stand for more than one sabbatical position in any Union election.
4.0 Conduct of the Election
4.1 Elections will take place by cross campus ballot or a secure online election platform that is open to all full members of the Union. For the avoidance of confusion, the membership list shall be as of the last working day prior to commencement of voting.
4.2 The election timetable shall be posted on the CSU website at least 28 days prior to the close of nominations.
4.3 Information about the nomination procedure and election rules shall be posted on the CSU website at least 28 days prior to the commencement of voting.
4.4 The RO shall ensure that a full list of candidates is published on the CSU website within 48 hours of the close of nominations.
4.5 If the RO rejects a nomination, the candidate shall be informed in writing of the decision and the reason for rejection. The candidate shall have the right of appeal as laid out in 5.6.
4.6 Voting will be conducted according to the rules of Alternative or Single Transferable Voting as set by the Electoral Reform Society.
4.7 Re Open Nominations will be a candidate in all Union elections.
4.8 The RO shall ensure that the time and venue of the count shall be published on the Union website at least 28 days prior to it taking place.
4.9 Following the completion of the count the provisional results will be published on the CSU website within 24 hours. The website shall make it clear that these are provisional results and outline the complaints procedure.
4.10 The provisional results will be announced as confirmed within 24 hours of the closing of the complaints period.
4.11 The RO will send a copy of the results to the University Registrar, Vice Chancellor and Secretary to the Governing body, and confirm that the elections were held in accordance with all relevant legislation.
5.1 Any complaint concerning the administration of the election must be made in writing and received by the RO within an hour of the close of voting.
5.2 Any complaint relating to the administration of the election will normally be determined by the RO within 24 hours of the complaint being lodged.
5.3 Any compliant relating to the conduct of the count must be made in writing and received by the RO within 24 hours of the count being declared.
5.4 Any complaint relating to the count will normally be determined within 24 hours of the complaint being lodged.
5.5 The RO reserves the right to enforce disciplinary penalties against candidates who deviate from the election regulations, up to and including exclusion from the election.
5.6 Should a member be dissatisfied with a ruling from or the conduct of the RO this complaint shall be made in writing to the Board of Trustees within 7 days of the count taking place. Any decision to overturn the RO shall need a 75% majority of a quorate Trustee Board.
6.0 Election Rules
6.1 Nominations must be received by the published deadline.
6.2 CSU salaried staff, CSU posters and digital publications shall remain neutral during all CSU elections.
6.3 Sabbatical Officers and CSU student staff are entitled to stand for election and campaign for candidates but must not do this whilst on shift or whilst wearing CSU uniforms.
6.4 Candidates must ensure that they do not breach CSU or University of Chester policies relating to the conduct of students.
6.5 Candidates must not attack, threaten, or abuse members of CSU, staff of CSU or the University of Chester during the election. Candidates must ensure their publicity material does not cause offence.
6.6 Candidates must not remove, deface or damage other candidate’s materials, CSU or UoC property.
6.7 No candidates can spend more than £150 towards their campaign. The RO reserves the right to demand to see proof of expenditure
6.8 The RO reserves the right to designate areas of campus as exempt from campaigning.
6.9 Candidates will not be allowed to use CSU equipment for the purposes of campaigning except where this has been explicitly arranged by the RO for all candidates