Following the 2019 KCLSU elections, we made a commitment to review the way elections are carried out. This review was conducted by an independent, external consultant and took place over the past few months. Following the review report, KCLSU now has a set of recommendations, which were recently approved by the Board of Trustees.
The shared lived experiences of a large number of students involved in elections through voting or as candidates, has enabled us to reflect and we are now planning on how to put these recommendations into practice, starting with the upcoming Spring elections. This is the start of a journey to ensure we facilitate free and fair elections.
In the KCLSU Spring elections 2020, our voting process will change, bringing in campus based voting booths. Online voting will only be open between 6am and 9am during weekdays and 6am to 10pm on weekends. We will also have on campus, in person digital voting booths, open from 10am to 5pm on weekdays. The voting period will start on the 27th of February and end on the 3rd of March.
Other key recommendations we will be implementing are:
- Adopting NUS Elections Commission rule setting principles which are nationally recognised and the upholding of complaints based on the balance of probability
- Putting the mental and physical health and wellbeing of voters and candidates as a top priority
- Placing greater emphasis on candidate, voter, elected officer and student satisfaction with the elections
- Introduction of a Zero Tolerance to Harassment policy
- An extension for election complaints to be submitted, to allow more time for students to recognise where a breach may have occurred and access the correct procedure to submit a complaint
- Work across the Union to ensure we are fully engaged in equality and diversity and create an inclusive environment for all students.
- Extension of the campaign period enabling prospective candidates to discuss ideas and canvas opinions without falling foul of the rules
- A review of the role for Deputy Returning Officer to ensure we are in line with best practice across the sector