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WIDAR Elections

Brighton SU Increasing Voter Turnout

Heather McKnight

on 26 September 2013

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Transcript of WIDAR Elections

Voting Period – All Online

Emails to all students
Targeted emails to course reps
Current reps and previous election candidates
STARSS, sports and societies
Academic societies
Course groups
SU societies
Pre-Nomination Period

2,873 students voted for reasons other than winning an iPad, which is still 13.14% of the student body.
This year’s spring election saw a total turnout of 3,588 voters, which represents 16.54% of the total UoB student population. This is an 86% increase on last year’s spring election, and is the SU’s highest turnout on record.
Didn’t allow candidates to start campaigning straight away (as was done last year)
Allowed all candidates to become familiar with the election guidelines and idea of campaigning before anyone was allowed to start
Levelling the Playing Field
nominations from 18 to 50
Communications and
Social Media
Nomination Period
An election edition of the student newspaper
Contained information about the election and all candidate’s manifestos and pictures.
Fantastic feedback from candidates, SU staff and students.
These were available from the Wednesday of the campaign week and were present at all SU polling stations and delivered to all our campuses and partner colleges.
Election Edition of the Verse
Creating online forms
Reducing the recommended manifesto students had to write from 1000 words to 250
Review of 2011 Nominations Process
Heather McKnight – Academic Affairs Manager
WIDAR Conference 2012

Brighton SU
Increasing Voter Turnout and Participation 2012

Students voting at other times able to enter the competition by emailing in their unique IDs.
Estimated additional 715 students voted with the added incentive of winning an iPad.
Students voting during ‘happy hour’ between (7 - 10pm Weds and Thurs) to win an iPad
iPad Competition
This session aimed to give all candidates the information they’d need to run their election campaign
Candidate Briefing
Printed publicity
This included posters, flyers and stickers.
Completely new style from that of previous years
Positive feedback from students, SU staff and a members of University staff.
The results were announced at the Monster Results Party, held at Life nightclub, Brighton.
Fantastic turnout, with a large number of students attending the results part of the evening
Overall turnout of 558 people attending the after-party upstairs after the results were announced.
Monster Results Party
Emails to all students
Course Rep Newsletter
STARSS, sports and societies
Academic societies
Course groups
SU societies
Organised by the SU before elections started
Videos of Candidates for Website
Run by Paul and Jess Moriarty
This was a 4 hour evening session with a small group of candidates.
Positive feedback from the candidates who attended.
Public Speaking Workshop
We set up official SU polling stations across many University buildings between 11-2 each day, manned by our student staff.
The hourly voting stats show peaks in the number of people voting between these times
Official SU Polling Stations
Look to having a Question Time on each major campus
Decide our stance on the use of mobile technology by candidates
Increase awareness amongst underrepresented groups – specifically mature students, PG students, smaller schools and partner colleges
More specific targeting to increase the number of candidates, with the ultimate goal of having each election contested.
Identified Priority areas for action next year
Incentives for voting – look to do a similar competition next year but raise awareness of it in advance of the voting period
Confidence Building Sessions
To give candidates extra support and advice from previous candidates and SU staff
Full transcript