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Elections — Procedures for Determination of Result of Ballot

Abstract

These procedures are made in accordance with UTS General Rule G3-37. They detail how the result of a ballot (be it electronic or paper) will be determined.

These procedures are also available as a PDF document.

Dates Procedures approved: 22/06/2016
Procedures take effect: 08/07/2016
Procedures due for review (up to five years): 07/2021
Approved by University Secretary
22 June 2016
Implementation Officer UTS Electoral Officer
Relevant to All staff and students
Related documents UTS General Rules
Legislation
File number UR16/999
Superseded documents

Preface

Consistent with UTS General Rule G3-34(2), in the case of an election conducted by way of an electronic voting system, votes will be counted using a methodology such that the results obtained are as if the votes were recorded on ballot papers and the count was conducted in accordance with Rule G3-37. These procedures therefore cover both manual and electronic ballots. The UTS Online Polling Booth complies with these procedures.

1. In these procedures:

an absolute majority of votes means a greater number than one-half of the whole number of formal ballot votes counted.

ballot paper means ballot paper for ballots conducted by attendance at a polling booth or electronic ballot paper for ballots conducted by way of an electronic voting system.

continuing candidate means a candidate not already excluded from the count.

determine by lot means determine in accordance with the following directions:

  1. the names of the candidates concerned must be written on separate and similar slips of paper
  2. the slips must be folded so as to prevent identification and mixed and drawn at random
  3. the candidate whose name is first drawn must be excluded.

specific requirements means requirements for a category of membership, which are specified by the composition of a board or committee. Examples are requirements for gender, discipline and expertise.

quota means the number of votes required by a candidate to be elected. It is determined as the next whole number above a quotient, where the quotient is calculated by counting the number of formal votes and dividing this by the number of positions to be filled plus one.

2. If a ballot has been held for the purpose of an election the result of the ballot must be determined as provided in these procedures.

3. The Returning Officer must count the total number of ballot votes and exclude any informal votes.

4. The Returning Officer must count the number of first preference votes given for each candidate.

5. Where there is one position to be filled:

  1. The candidate who has received the largest number of first preference votes must, if that number constitutes an absolute majority of votes, be declared by the Returning Officer to be elected.
  2. If no candidate has received an absolute majority of first preference votes, the candidate who has received the fewest first preference votes must be excluded and each of the ballot papers counted to that candidate must be counted to the continuing candidate next in order of the voter's preference.
  3. If on any count two or more candidates have an equal number of votes, and one of them has to be excluded, the candidate to be excluded must be determined as follows:
    1. if the count is the first made in connection with the ballot, the Returning Officer must determine by lot which of those candidates is to be excluded
    2. if the count is the second or subsequent count made in connection with the ballot:
      • that candidate must be excluded who had the least number of votes at the last count at which one of those candidates received fewer votes than each of the others, or
      • the Returning Officer must determine by lot which of those candidates is to be excluded if at all preceding counts no one of those candidates received fewer votes than each of the others.
  4. The process of excluding the candidate who has the fewest votes and counting each of the ballot papers counted to that candidate to the continuing candidate next in order of the voter's preference must (subject to (5)(e) below) be continued:
    1. until one continuing candidate has an absolute majority of votes in which event that candidate must be declared by the Returning Officer to be elected, or
    2. until all candidates but one have been excluded in which event the remaining candidate must be declared elected.
  5. If, at any point during any particular count after the first preference votes have been counted, the candidate next in order of a voter's preference is not indicated or cannot be ascertained, that ballot paper must, from that point onwards, be excluded from that particular count and the total of the ballot papers counted must be amended accordingly.

6. Where there is more than one position to be filled:

  1. The quota is determined as the next whole number above the following quotient:

    =    the number of formal votes_____
          number of positions available + 1

  2. Any candidate who receives a number of first preference votes which is greater than or equal to the quota is declared elected.
  3. If the vote for an elected candidate is equal to the quota, all of that candidate’s ballot papers are set aside and play no further role in the count (because that candidate has no surplus to transfer).
  4. If the vote for an elected candidate is more than the quota, all of that candidate’s usable ballot papers are transferred to remaining candidates according to the second preference (indicated with the figure 2).
    1. If more than one candidate has been elected, ballot papers are transferred according to the size of each candidate’s vote, beginning with the largest. If two or more votes are equal, the Returning Officer decides by lot the candidate whose papers are to be transferred first.
    2. Ballot papers with only one preference, or with an irregular sequence of numbers, are set aside and play no further role in the count. They are no longer usable and are recorded as 'exhausted'.
  5. Papers are transferred with a value which is proportional to the size of the surplus. The transfer value is calculated as:

    =    the number of surplus ballot papers received by the elected candidate
          the number of usable ballot papers received by the elected candidate1

  6. The number of ballot papers transferred to remaining candidates is multiplied by the transfer value. The progress totals [first preference votes + (transferred papers x transfer value)] are recorded on the tally sheet.
  7. If the progress total of a candidate is raised up to or above the quota by the transfer of a surplus, that candidate is declared elected.
    1. If the progress vote for that candidate is equal to the quota, all of that candidate’s ballot papers are set aside and play no further role in the count.
    2. If the progress vote is more than the quota, the usable ballot papers which that candidate received in the last transfer of surplus are transferred to remaining candidates according to the next available2 preference. The transfer value of these ballot papers is calculated as:

      =    the size of the candidate's surplus________________________
            the number of usable ballot papers received in the last transfer3

  8. If not all positions have been filled after the surpluses of elected candidates have been transferred, the candidate who has the lowest progress total is excluded. The excluded candidate's ballot papers are distributed to remaining candidates according to the next preference expressed on each ballot paper.
    1. Ballot papers on which the excluded candidate is indicated as first preference are distributed at their full value.
    2. Progress totals are recorded. If any candidate has been raised up to or above the quota that candidate is declared elected and receives no further ballot papers.
    3. Remaining ballot papers (that is, those which the excluded candidate received from other candidates) are distributed at their transfer value (that is, the value at which they were originally transferred to the excluded candidate).
    4. Progress totals are recorded.
  9. If, at any stage of the count, the surplus/total of surpluses to be transferred is:
    1. less than the difference between the lowest and next to lowest progress totals, and
    2. less than the difference between the quota and the highest progress total of a remaining candidate,

    the transfer/s may be deferred. The candidate with the lowest progress total is now excluded and that candidate’s ballot papers are distributed.

  10. If two or more candidates have an equal number of votes, and one is to be excluded, the excluded candidate is determined by the following method.
    1. If it is the first distribution (that is, no candidate received a quota of first preference votes) the Returning Officer excludes one candidate by lot.
    2. For subsequent distributions:
      • the candidate who had the fewest votes at the prior transfer/distribution (or, if still equal, at the transfer/distribution prior to that) is excluded
      • if, at all preceding transfers/distributions, no candidate received fewer votes than the others, the Returning Officer excludes one candidate by lot.
  11. If the progress total of a candidate is raised up to or above the quota by the distribution of an excluded candidate's ballot papers, that candidate is declared elected and his or her surplus is transferred in accordance with step 6(g)(ii). If no candidate reaches the quota, the remaining candidate with the lowest progress total is excluded.
  12. If, at any distribution, there is no further preference expressed on a ballot paper, or the next preference cannot be determined, that ballot paper is set aside and recorded as 'exhausted'.
  13. The count continues by transferring the surpluses from elected candidates and excluding the candidate with the lowest progress total until:
    1. all positions have been filled, or
    2. only the required number of candidates remain in the count.

7. In cases where there are specific requirements for some of the positions, and these positions will not be filled by counting the votes in accordance with section 6(a)–(m) of these procedures, the counting of votes will be stopped once the positions without specifications are filled. When these positions have been filled, and only the positions with specific requirements remain, the candidates who do not meet the specific requirements will be excluded from the count and section 6(a)–(m) of these procedures will be continued until the remaining positions have been filled.

1. The total number of ballot papers received by the elected candidate minus the number of ballot papers with no further preference. If this figure is equal to or less than the surplus, the transfer value is 1.
2. The next preference for which there is a continuing candidate. If, for example, the next preference is expressed by a 3, but that candidate has already been elected/excluded, then the next available preference will be expressed by a 4 if that candidate is still in the count.
3. If this number is equal to or less than the surplus, the transfer value of these ballot papers shall be the value at which they were originally transferred to the elected candidate.