What’s the deal with elections?

It’s that time of year again – the time most of us would take the long way to class to avoid campaigning students outside Reid Library (we’re all guilty of it). That’s right; elections are here! Before you avoid campus altogether for the next couple of weeks, here’s what you should know about elections, how they work and the changes we’ve made to make them more palatable.

The Guild has been running its elections through the WA Electoral Commission for more than 20 years, and it’s now the biggest student-based election in the country. The student candidates are a super passionate group keen to improve the student experience. While it can be a bit of an overload when you’re fresh off the bus and haven’t had a coffee yet (and you’re just trying to get past Reid Library without copping a pamphlet to the face) the results of the elections can directly impact life on campus, so it may be worth paying attention!

Changes to Election Regulations

This year, the Election Culture Working Group has made some positive changes to the elections experience in 2019 to make the whole thing easier for students. These changes aim to address some of the pain points students have identified for the election period, including:

  • Life in the fast lane: an express candidate-free walkway outside of Reid Library – no more taking the long way! You can walk straight through the marked-out lane in the campaigning zone.
  • Save the trees: restrictions on number of flyers and paper waste produced during campaigning
  • Give us a break: no campaigning around voting booths from 12.30-1.30pm each day during Polling Week
  • Nothing sketchy: the introduction of a formal complaints process to report misbehaving candidates

The Elections process

A lot of the election processes have already happened! The party candidates have all been decided and have nominated, and positions on the ballot paper have been drawn. What’s left now is the campaigning and polling. The schedule for how that all works looks a little like this:

Blackout: the blackout on elections campaigning ends this Friday 6th September at 5pm. From that point onwards, candidates are allowed to campaign.

Campaign week (week 7): During campaign week you’ll see a lot of candidates very active on social media and on campus. Most parties have websites listing all their policies, and typically during this week there are lots of posters around campus and flyers in lecture theatres to get their message out. You’ll also probably have a fair few ‘lecture announcements’ during the week to encourage you to vote.

Polling week (week 8): Polling will take place during Week 8, Monday 16th to Thursday 19th September, both on Oak Lawn and outside Reid Library, plus various mobile polling locations across campus (including Nedlands and the Business School). Check the Elections website for more info.
During Polling week (and at all other times during the election period), candidates are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct to allow for a smooth and stress-free voting experience. More information about voting and the polling week will be circulated soon!

Elections can be a lot, but they can also be a place for you as a student to have your voice heard and make a difference. Follow the Guild socials and blogs to find out everything you need to know about the Guild Elections for 2019! And if you have any questions, just ask😊

Posted on September 4, 2019

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