Create Change


  •  Strongly Agree
  •  Agree
  •  Neutral
  •  Disagree
  •  Strongly Disagree
  •  Don't Know


During election week the SU is reliant on their website for taking votes from the students. However, this one method of voting is not fully inclusive as many students are still not familiar with the SU let alone their website. If we have a ballot system/ polling station where it is clear what is happening and why, rather than a link in a un-utilised website, there is a larger probability for student engagement. Also, it echoes real world election processes.


Paper ballots during election week

This Idea for Change opened on 24 Jan 2019 and closed on 7 Feb 2019.

17 students voted on this Idea, giving a score of +14.

  • 14 May 2019: Unfortunately this Idea passed too close to the Spring Elections and we were not able to implement it in time. However, the Bye-laws are under review and we are looking at implementing this Idea in future Elections.

This Idea is a Win and thus complete.



Marie Dodd
11:17am on 7 Feb 19 This Idea has passed and the comments will remain open for discussion while the Create Change team action the Idea.
Joanna Quaye
11:19pm on 25 Jan 19 I strongly agree with the paper ballot as it will encourage more students to vote. Many student don't bother going on the student union website and yes iPad can be used but it's more tedious than ticking on a ballot paper. It is easy to count too unlike the computerised one especially if there is a problem with connection or double entry for instance.
Alex Jenkins
11:51am on 25 Jan 19 Strongly agree with this- I have serious information security concerns when it comes to voting online. You have to log into the SU website to vote, which I think could cause someone's vote to be associated with that particular voter (NOT something desirable, for hopefully obvious reasons), something that completely goes against the basic principles of a vote in a representative democracy (that it's secret). Also, could someone's vote possibly be changed in a "Man in the Middle" attack? This is something that is difficult at best when using paper ballots, especially when the count is scrutinised heavily, and when copying pencils are used. Personally, I would rather use copying pencils for the elections if they're on paper ballots, as normal pencils can be rubbed out very easily, and pens might contain disappearing ink, which could erase someone's vote, by changing it
Peter Bridgwood
8:06am on 25 Jan 19 How many students do you think actually read leaflets, or how many do you think throw them in the bin at the nearest opportunity? If you've ever run in any form of election they'll tell you the best way to get recognition isn't through posters and leaflets but getting out there. Yes I understand the 'paper friendly' approach, but if that was really a big concern across campus then surely an idea would have been put forward by now? There are societies around the Uni that are constantly printing posters/ leaflets and posting them everywhere - maybe start with the little groups before we look at being paper friendly as a whole? The last time the US had a election they were hacked, cybercrime is at an all time high. Paper ballots represent the voting system of this country, if the SU follows suite it may even convince others to vote in general elections. On top of that, this University and the SU are known for their technological difficulties where students have tried to vote online and had to come in to have their IT sorted before they could vote. If IT failure happens during the election, who is to say that it wouldn't put students off voting and they just give up all together? Also, some students are just not technology friendly so the idea of it all being online would also put them off voting. If we're looking for a democratic procedure where all can be included, what's more inclusive than ticking a box? It presents no technological barrier and shadows the UK's political system.
Connor Levers
4:12pm on 24 Jan 19 Some states in the US actually use electronic voting machines for their presidential elections so using computers in democratic elections isn't a new thing. I don't really see the benefit of using paper ballots. It's just going to cost the SU more in printing costs etc which then reduce the budget for other events and increase the eventual litter. I believe the SU actually goes round with IPads with the voting system pre-loaded on the screen. This cuts out the issue of students being unfamiliar with the SU Website. Maybe the SU could make it even clearer when voting season begins and where/when to go to the SU to click their candidate on the IPads.
Lee Booker
4:07pm on 24 Jan 19 Seems like unnecessary waste of paper when argueably the answer to students not being familiar with the SU is to resource/fund the SU properly so that engagement can be made with the students. Generally everyone signing up gets given information on the SU in leaflet form and every student has access to the internet & a computer courtesy of university facilties.
Please login to comment.