Unofficial 2013 Spring Election and Referendum Results
Spring 2013 Election
UTSU Electoral Reform
Since its formation in the fall, as per the wishes of the membership, the current Elections and Referendum Committee (the Committee) has been meeting to discuss and implement reforms to the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) elections process. We deliberated over submissions by students and commissioned an independent legal review of the fairness of our electoral procedures.
According to UTSU bylaws, February 9 was the last day possible to propose amendments to the Election Procedure Code (EPC) and have them ratified by the UTSU Board of Directors before the nominations period opened on February 14. Therefore, the Committee met on February 9 and adopted a number of reforms to the EPC, suggested by both students and the legal review, which the UTSU Board subsequently approved at a regular meeting on February 13.
The revised EPC with review notation is available for download here. Some of the many changes include:
1. Increasing the minimum required number of polling stations on both campuses, and clarifying the definition of a library for campaigning and polling purposes.
2. Mandating the unofficial release of election results within 48 hours of the count, and also requiring an automatic recount if the vote margin is less than 50 for executive positions, 25 for at large positions, 10 for division I positions, and 5 for division II positions.
3. Rewriting the rule against “undermining the authority of the CRO” to forbid only “persistent attempts to undermine the ability of the CRO or the ERC to carry out their responsibilities,” as well as removing the discretion of the Chief Returning Officer (CRO) to award more than the listed number of demerit points for violations of the EPC.
4. Reducing the number of signatures required to nominate an executive candidate from 200 to 100.
5. Allowing more than one All Candidates Meeting.
6. Clarifying that the CRO may both reimburse and lend funds to non-executive candidates who demonstrate financial need to improve accessibility.
7. Clarifying when deposits for appeals made to the Elections and Referenda Appeals committee will be refunded.
In addition, the Committee made many other changes to the EPC to simplify language, remove redundancies, and clarify the responsibilities of the Committee and the CRO.
Moving forward, the Committee will be working to improve the practice of the current election, as well as propose further amendments to the EPC for subsequent elections. Throughout this process, the Committee will continue to be guided by the feedback they receive, including the Declaration on UTSU Electoral Reform (available here) endorsed at the UTSU Special General Meeting on February 12th and the Elections Process Audit Report (available here) by the prepared by Davis LLP.
If anyone has further comments, suggestions or questions about the reform of UTSU elections they are encouraged to contact the Committee at the following addresses: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org