Election Regulation 2012

The Council makes the following Regulations:
Dated: 2 May 2016

Part 1. Preliminary

1. Objective

The objective of these Regulations is to make provision for elections conducted by or on behalf of the University.

2. Authorising provision

These Regulations are made under the Governance and Administration Statute 2012 and sections 28, 29 and 30 of the Swinburne University of Technology Act 2010.

3. Definitions

In these Regulations—

ballot period means the period during which persons may vote at an election.

4. Scope of these Regulations

  1. These Regulations apply to a statutory election.
  2. In this regulation statutory election means an election which the Vice-Chancellor or University Secretary has determined is an election to which these Regulations apply.
  3. A determination by the Vice-Chancellor or University Secretary may apply to specified elections or elections for membership of a specified body.

Part 2. Administration of Elections

Division 1—Voters roll

5. Returning officer to keep voters roll

  1. The returning officer must compile voters rolls for the purposes of elections conducted under these Regulations.
  2. Voters rolls may categorise voters according to voter eligibility requirements of elections to be conducted under these Regulations.

6. Information to be recorded on voters roll

A voters roll must contain, in respect of each person entitled to be on that roll—

  1. the person’s name; and 
  2. any further information about the person which the returning officer considers to be appropriate to identify the person or to determine the person’s eligibility to vote or nominate in an election.

7. Application to be included on the voters roll

  1. A person may apply to the returning officer to be included on a voters roll if—
    1. his or her name is not on the voters roll; and 
    2. the person believes that he or she is entitled to be included on the voters roll.
  2. If the returning officer is satisfied that the person is entitled to be included on the voters roll, the returning officer must enter the person’s name on the voters roll.

Division 2—Retention of documents

8. Returning officer to retain documents

  1. In this regulation—
    election documents means completed nomination forms, ballot documents, entries or data, voters rolls and other records relating to an election, in hard copy or electronic format;
    retention period means the period expiring on the last of the three dates referred to in subregulation (2).
  2. The returning officer must retain election documents until the later of
    1. three months after the date of the election; 
    2. if a dispute relating to the conduct or result of the election has arisen, three months after the resolution of the dispute or the date on which the duly elected candidate commences his or her term, whichever is the later; and 
    3. the expiry of any applicable retention period applying to public records under the Public Records Act 1973.
  3. The returning officer must ensure that election documents are destroyed at the end of the retention period.

Part 3. Entitlement to Participate in Elections

9. Entitlement to vote

  1. A person is entitled to vote at an election if the person’s name is on the relevant voters roll.
  2. A person is entitled to vote in all categories in which they are eligible for any election.

Example #1

A person is enrolled as both a postgraduate student and an undergraduate student. The person may vote in both categories.

Example #2

A person is an international student who is an undergraduate. The person may vote as an international student and as an undergraduate student.

10. Entitlement to be nominated for election

1. Subject to University legislation prescribing specific eligibility criteria for University bodies, a person is entitled to be nominated for election if:

  1. the person’s name is on the voters roll on a date not less than three days before the day on which nominations close;
  2. in the case of a staff member, he or she—
    1. holds a 0.5 or more on-going or fixed-term appointment at nomination and for the duration of his or her term;
    2. has completed their probationary period of employment with the University;
    3. is resident in Australia;
    4. is attending the University solely or primarily as a staff member rather than a student and is not also a staff member or student at another university; and
    5. satisfies any regulatory probity requirements.
  3. in the case of a student, he or she—
    1. is 18 years of age or older at nomination;
    2. is studying the equivalent of fifty percent or more of a full time load at the point of nomination and for the duration of his or her term;
    3. is resident in Australia;
    4. is attending the University solely or primarily as a student rather than as an employee of the University and is not also a student or staff member at another university; and
    5. satisfies any regulatory probity requirements.

2. The returning officer shall determine if a person who nominates for election satisfies the criteria specified in subregulation (1).


Part 4. Conduct of Elections

Division 1—Nomination of candidates

11. Nomination of candidates

  1. The returning officer must call for nominations of candidates from the relevant electorate not less than two weeks before the first day of a ballot period.
  2. A call for nominations must
    1. be in a form determined by the returning officer; 
    2. specify a date, being not less than one week before the first day of the ballot period, by which nominations are to be delivered to the returning officer.
  3. In determining the method of calling for nominations the returning officer must take into consideration the objective of ensuring that the call comes to the attention of the relevant electorate.
  4. To be valid, nominations must be complete and in the form determined by the returning officer.

Division 2—Procedure where there is no contest

12. Unopposed candidates

If the number of candidates nominated for election to a body in a particular category does not exceed the number of vacancies in that category, the returning officer must declare those candidates duly elected.

13. Insufficient candidates

  1. This regulation applies
    1. to all of the vacancies if— 
      1. no candidates are nominated for election to a body in a particular category; or 
      2. all candidates nominated for election to a vacancy withdraw before being elected; 
    2. to the number of vacancies which are not filled if
      1. the number of candidates nominated for election to a body in a particular category is less than the number of vacancies; or 
      2. a candidate nominated for election to a vacancy withdraws before being elected, resulting in the number of remaining candidates being less than the number of vacancies.
  2. Where this regulation applies, the returning officer must notify the relevant member of University staff of the vacancy and of the requirements of this regulation.
  3. A member of University staff who has received a notification under this regulation must, after consultation with the Chair of the body, appoint suitable persons to fill the vacancies.
  4. A person appointed under subregulation (3) must have the like qualifications (if any) that would have made the person eligible to nominate in the election.
  5. Notwithstanding subregulation (3), it is not obligatory to appoint a person to fill a vacancy if there is no suitable person willing or available to be appointed to fill the vacancy.

Division 3—Procedure where there is a contest

14. Election if more candidates than vacancies

If the number of candidates nominated for election to a body in a particular category exceeds the number of vacancies, the returning officer must conduct a ballot in accordance with these Regulations.

15. Notice of ballot

  1. The returning officer must publish a notice of ballot not less than one week before the final day of the ballot period.
  2. In determining the method of notification the returning officer must take into consideration the objective of ensuring that the notice comes to the attention of the relevant electorate.
  3. A notice of ballot must specify the ballot closing time.

16. Voting procedure

  1. Votes may be cast and recorded in a manner determined by the returning officer.
    Note
    This provision allows the returning officer to determine that voting will be by paper or online or using any other system or method and may include postal or other forms of voting.
  2. The manner for conducting elections under this Regulation must be included in the notice of ballot under regulation 15.
  3. Elections will be determined by plurality voting known as “first past the post”.

Division 4—Counting Ballots

17. Counting votes

After the ballot closing time, the returning officer or the returning officer’s nominee, must—

  1. examine all votes cast; 
  2. determine whether any votes are invalid; and 
  3. count the valid votes in accordance with these Regulations.

18. Votes received late not to be counted

  1. Except as provided in this Regulation, votes received after the ballot closing time must not be counted.
  2. If the Vice-Chancellor and the returning officer are of the opinion that voting has been affected by an Act of God or industrial action, they may direct that votes received after a time specified by them, being not later than 5.00 pm one week after the last day of the ballot period, be examined and counted.

19. Scrutineers

  1. Subject to confidentiality restrictions as determined by the returning officer, a person nominated by a candidate in an election may review the result of the election.
  2. A scrutineer must not be a contesting candidate.

20. Invalid votes

A vote is invalid if—

  1. the vote has been cast in a manner other than as specified in these Regulations or the instructions given by the returning officer; 
  2. the person who voted is not eligible to vote at the election; or 
  3. a person voted more than once in a category.

21. Determining the validity of votes

  1. Notwithstanding regulation 20, the returning officer may determine a vote is valid if in the opinion of the returning officer it is fair and reasonable to do so.
  2. The returning officer’s decision that a vote is invalid is final.

Part 5. Determining the Results of an Election

22. Where one person is to be elected

  1. If only one (1) person is to be elected then the candidate with the most votes shall be declared elected.
  2. If two (2) or more candidates receive the equal highest number of votes, the returning officer must draw lots in the presence of two (2) witnesses and the candidate whose name is drawn is declared elected.

23. Where two or more candidates to be elected

  1. Where two or more candidates are to be elected
    1. the first vacancy must be filled in accordance with the procedure applying to the filling of one vacancy in accordance with regulation 22; 
    2. the remaining vacancies must be filled in order of votes received.

Example 
The candidate with the second highest amount of votes is elected to the second position.


Part 6. Casual vacancies

24. Filling vacancies

  1. For a body other than the Council, positions filled by a statutory election that become vacant before the end of a term of office must be filled as follows—
    1. if the position was contested and a ballot was conducted under regulation 14 and the position becomes vacant after the person has been declared elected but before the term of office begins, the candidate with the next highest number of votes must be declared elected;
    2. if the position was contested and a ballot was conducted under regulation 14 and the position becomes available after the term of office begins, subregulations 13(2)-(5) apply; 
    3. if the position was uncontested and the candidate was elected unopposed under regulation 12, subregulations 13(2)-(5) apply. 
      Note:
      Casual vacancies for the Council must be filled in accordance with clauses 7 & 8 of Schedule 1 of the Act.
  2. A person elected or appointed under subregulation 24(1) is entitled to hold office during the remainder of the term.
  3. It is not obligatory to fill a casual vacancy if:
    1. the casual vacancy occurs within 6 months before the expiry of the term of office; or 
    2. there is no suitable person willing or available to be appointed to fill the casual vacancy.

Part 7. Miscellaneous

Division 1—Offence

25. Offence

  1. A person must not, in connection with a University election, record a vote which he or she is not entitled to record.
  2. It is general misconduct for the purposes of the Student General Misconduct Regulations 2012 if a person records a vote which he or she is not entitled to record.

Division 2—Validity of elections

26. Validity of election

An election, including the conduct and outcome of an election, is valid notwithstanding a procedural irregularity which, in the opinion of the returning officer or the Vice-Chancellor, would not have affected the result.

Division 3—Revocation

27. Revocation

Regulation 15 – Elections is revoked.