Election Principles

We have some Election Principles that help keep elections free, fair and equitable. All candidates must abide by these principles.

Only do things another student at the University of Wolverhampton would be able to do

  • If you have access to something – through your position at work, elected office, or through friends and family – that you would not otherwise have, you may not use it for your election.

Treat other students and staff with respect

  • Engage with the debate, and with other students and campaigns involved in the elections, positively.
  • Candidates are solely responsible for their campaigns.

Do not behave or engage in ways that would undermine the election

  • Every electronic item (such as a phone, tablet, PC, etc.) can be considered a ballot box – campaigners must allow voters to to cast their ballot freely and must not communicate with voters in any way once they have begun to complete their ballot.

Do not exceed your budget

  • Be transparent with your budget expenses and tell us if you think there may be any issues or risk of going over budget.
  • Going over your budget will lead to election sanctions.
  • For the Sabbatical Elections 2020, you have up to £50 to spend on campaigning. Use the Expenses Form to reclaim your campaign spending.
  • Any money you do (or don’t) spend should be discussed during your pre-election one-to-one, and forms (with corresponding receipts) should be returned no later than one hour after polls close.
  • We will not reimburse printing expenses. We strongly discourage using posters and flyers as these are passive campaigning tools. Be active – use your budget wisely.
  • Items freely and readily available to all campaigners may be used without cost.

You are also required to abide by the policies and regulations of the University, in particular, their IT Acceptable Use Policy.

Please also consider our Safe Space Guidance when planning your election campaign. Guidance for the elections can also be found at our Frequently Asked Questions.

Results are not final until announced on @WolvesSU

If in doubt – ask us
We will always respect honesty and transparency

Election Breaches

There three types of penalties that can be applied to restore fairness and rights following the violation of an Election Principle.

  • Campaign Penalty: this includes confiscation of materials, instructions to remove social media posts, cancellation of events, and so on.
  • Campaign Ban: this can be used to prevent a team campaigning to remove any specific advantages gained from misconduct.
  • Disqualification: this is applied only in the most serious of circumstances where no other penalty can redress unfairness caused.

This list is not prescriptive, but outlines the types of action that can be taken to restore the fairness of an election.

If in doubt – ask us
We will always respect honesty and transparency

Election Grievances

If you believe any Election Principles have been breached which, if unresolved, would mean an election was not fair and equitable, you can bring an Election Grievance.

Only students at the University of Wolverhampton, who are members of the Students’ Union, can submit a grievance if they believe a candidate’s behaviour is in breach of the Election Principles. Anonymous grievances will not be accepted. Grievances will not be accepted after the close of voting.

Grievances will be heard by the Deputy Returning Officer.

Grievances will only be accepted using the Grievances Form. The grievance will need to be based in fact and will require evidence. Please submit any screenshots/photographs or other evidence along with the form. The Returning Officer reserves the right to consider grievances as vexatious and may take disciplinary action accordingly.

What happens next?

Grievances will be considered by the Deputy Returning Officer. They will decide whether to accept (uphold) or reject the grievance. You will be notified of any decision in writing.

Flow chart (Grievances)

Election Grievances Flow Chart. Process: Election Grievance Submitted, then Investigation by Deputy Returning Officer (DRO), then either Grievance Upheld or Grievance Rejected. Finally, if unsatisfied with the Grievance, it can go to the Appeal Process

Procedural Guarantees

In order to guarantee a fair hearing during Election Grievances, it is necessary that all communication between the parties involved (complainant and campaigner) takes place through the Deputy Returning Officer.

For the parties involved in a complaint the following applies:

  1. No contact: you are not to communicate in any way with each other regarding the complaint.
  2. No recriminations: you are not to complain about someone making a complaint in order to strike down a complaint, nor are you allowed to gossip or spread rumours about a complainant in order to force them to withdraw a complaint.

Any candidate found in violation of these Procedural Guarantees may be disqualified for violating procedural fairness. Any complainant found in violation may lose their right to vote, or reported to the University for having violated procedural fairness of an election.

If in doubt – ask us
Remember: Stop Complaining, Start Campaigning

Election Appeals

Any decision is open to appeal within two hours, or within an hour after the close of voting. Any right to appeal will be disclosed to the complainant and campaigner when a decision is issued. If you’re dissatisfied with the outcome of a grievance, you can request the opportunity to appeal. Appeals will be heard by the Returning Officer. The Returning Officer is NUS. Requests for appeal can be on the following grounds:

  • Review the procedures followed at the grievance stage
  • Consider whether the outcome was reasonable in context
  • New material evidence you were unable, for valid reasons, to provide earlier in the process

You will be informed of any outcome in writing.

If in doubt – ask us
Remember: Stop Complaining, Start Campaigning