At National Conference we elect our student leadership who will be leading the work of NUS for the next two years. We also elect key volunteer positions that allow for effective oversight and scrutiny of our democracy.
This year elections at National Conference are changing as part of our work on Doing Democracy Differently.
We’ve been asked to use more digital tools to make it easier for students to engage with elections. Our elections will take place separately to our policy development and all elections will be voted for online. Voters will get more time to vote ahead of the conference and to interact with candidates. There will be an online candidate question time which voters can submit questions to and hear the views of candidates.
Positions being elected
The following full time officer positions will be elected at National Conference. These are full time, two year positions.
- National President
- Vice President Higher Education
- Vice President Further Education
In addition the following voluntary positions will be elected.
- 20 members of the National Scrutiny Council (1 year term)
- 4 members of the Democratic Procedures Committee (2 year term)
All delegates registered for NUS National Conference 2020 will be able to vote in elections.
All voting will take place online using Unioncloud, which requires all delegates to be registered with their individual preferred email address. Delegates will be issued their ballot via email and can login to vote on phones, tablets and laptops. Delegates must provide the correct email address to their students’ union for registration so that they can login to vote
Voting for the National President, Vice President Higher Education and Vice President Further Education will open in advance of conference on 16 March and close on 31 March (day one of conference). Polls will be open daily from 9am – 6pm. Delegates may cast their ballot ahead of conference and will be able to change their vote at any point until polls close.
Voting for the National Scrutiny Council and Democratic Procedures Committee will open at the end of conference (2 April) and close the following Monday 6 April 12 noon.
Information on candidates
We want voters to have all the information they need to find out about the candidates and make an informed decision about the leadership of NUS UK. There will be lots of ways to find out about candidates.
- Candidate information on the NUS Connect website and social media
- Links to candidate social media accounts so voters can interact with candidates
- Candidate question time. This will be held in the weeks preceding conference and there will be the opportunity to pre-submit questions. We’d also encourage SUs to get their delegates together to watch this and discuss the candidates.
- Speeches at conference. Candidates will also give a short speech at the conference outlining their priorities as an officer and why they want to stand.
We know that glitches happen and sometimes there are issues meaning people can’t vote. However these can be resolved and the sooner they are identified the easier it is for the tech support team to assist.
- We need the preferred individual email address of every delegate from an SU. We can’t send two votes to one email address and we can’t send to staff email addresses.
- It is really important that delegates check they are able to vote before the close of polls. Even if you don’t plan to cast your vote until the conference itself you should check you have received your voting link or that you can log onto the website and see the voting panel.
- Voting links sometimes end up in junk mail filters so always check these
- If your SU swaps a delegate after the final registration deadline (17 March) we cannot guarantee that the new delegate will get to vote. If the original delegate has already cast a vote we cannot accept another vote from the new delegate (or an SU would get more votes than they are entitled to). We need time to check this.
- If you get in touch with us in advance of the conference it is easy for us to resolve issues and to support you to be able to cast your vote, however this takes a bit of time so is difficult to do as we approach the close of polls. We therefore ask that delegates report all technical issues 24 hours before close of polling – Monday 30 March. This is the last time we’d be able to guarantee to fix the issue.
- There will be a space onsite with spare computers and staff in place to assist any delegates with technical issues. Staff will make every effort to support delegates to vote but it cannot be guaranteed, especially if it is a few minutes before close of voting!
Rules and Complaints
NUS is run by its members and elections have an important role in this, being used to elect our political leadership. Our rules set out how we run elections and cover what voters and candidates should expect when participating in elections.
If a voter feels that a candidate has fallen short of the standards we expect within the rules they are able to make a complaint which will be investigated by the Returning Officer.
The NUS UK rules and elections complaints form can be found here.
Announcing the Result
Once polls close the election count will take place which will involve viewing the online count data. Candidates can send an observer to this. We will then inform candidates of the results before announcing to voters.
For the President and Vice President roles we aim to announce to the conference on the first day, though this may change e.g. if there are complaints that need to be ruled on before running the count. Voluntary roles will be announced after the conference. We will announce winners on our website and social media.