Approved by the Council of Representatives on November 15, 2017.
These election rules are to be complied with in the Council elections of the Student Union of the University of Jyväskylä. The Council election is held every two years during October and November. The term of office of the Council of Representatives is two years.
Each Student Union member who is registered for attendance at the University of Jyväskylä has the right to vote in the Council election.
Every member who has the right to vote has one (1) vote in the election. The right to vote must be used personally.
The election is secret, direct and proportional.
The right to vote is verified by means of the electoral register drawn up by the University of Jyväskylä.
All members of the Student Union who have registered for attendance at the University of Jyväskylä before the end of candidate nominations are eligible for election. However, permanent and temporary officials of the Student Union are not eligible for election to the Council of Representatives.
Central Election Committee and election committees
The Student Union establishes, for the purpose of holding the Council election, a Central Election Committee. The Chair of the Council shall make a proposal to the Council on the Central Election Committee, and shall either chair the Central Election Committee or appoint a chairperson to it.
In addition to the Chair, the Central Election Committee consists of at least four (4) members who are selected by the Chair from the members of the Student Union who are entitled to vote, so that opinion groups who were present in the previous election are represented in the Central Election Committee. Every member has a personal deputy member. The Executive Director or another person appointed by the Executive Director shall act as the Secretary of the Central Election Committee.
There may be multiple polling stations specified by the Central Election Committee. The Central Election Committee establishes an election committee for every polling station.
The Central Election Committee selects a Chair and a sufficient number of members and deputy members to the election committee.
Nominating candidates, electoral alliances and electoral coalitions
A member of the Student Union wishing to stand as a candidate in the Council election must submit a candidate declaration to Central Election Committee, completed in accordance with the Committee’s instructions. The candidate must personally sign the candidate declaration. The candidate declaration must have two witnesses.
Two or more candidates have the right to form an electoral alliance. The names and/or abbreviations of the electoral alliance must be entered to the candidate declaration. The electoral alliance is formed by making an electoral alliance agreement in accordance with the Student Union’s Central Election Committee’s guidelines.
The electoral alliance agreement must list the names and/or abbreviations of the electoral alliance and the electoral alliance’s representative person and a deputy, both of whom must be members of the Student Union. The representative and the deputy representative may be candidates, but only in the electoral alliance of which they are representatives.
A candidate can belong to no more than one electoral alliance. A member of the Student Union can be a representative or a deputy representative only in one electoral alliance.
If a person appears as a candidate or representative person in two or more electoral alliances, the Central Election Committee shall remove the person from all of them, and if the person is a candidate, reject their candidacy.
Two or more electoral alliances and one or more candidates who do not belong to an electoral alliance have the right to form an electoral coalition.
An electoral alliance or a candidate can belong to no more than one electoral coalition. An agreement must be made regarding the forming of an electoral coalition. The agreement must establish the parties who have formed the electoral coalition and the name of the electoral coalition. The agreement is signed by the representative of each electoral alliance in the electoral coalition and by each candidate in the electoral coalition who does not belong to an electoral alliance.
The Chair of the Central Election Committee must announce in the election declaration when and where the documents, stated in Sections 10–13, are received. The time and place must also be announced at least two weeks before the deadline on the Student Union’s bulletin board or website.
Preparatory actions for an election
The Central Election Committee shall inspect the submitted documents stated in Sections 10–13. Documents regarding candidate lists and electoral alliances that have been properly prepared and submitted within the allotted time to the Central Election Committee shall be approved to the combination of candidate lists.
A document that is substantially incomplete or erroneous must be brought to the attention of the candidate or representative person of the electoral alliance. The candidate or representative person have two days to rectify the deficiency or error observed. The deficiency must also be announced on the Student Union’s bulletin board by the Central Election Committee. After the two days, the Central Election Committee shall meet again to decide on the combination of candidate lists, including the lists of candidates or the candidate declarations which have been appropriately rectified within the allotted time.
The candidate list shall be drawn up so that first the candidates who are not in electoral alliances or coalitions are listed in alphabetical order, and then after that the electoral coalitions and the electoral alliances that do not belong to them in randomly selected order. Private candidates in electoral coalitions shall be placed at the beginning of the electoral coalition in alphabetical order.
Electoral alliances in electoral coalitions are placed in the order in which they appear in the agreements of the electoral coalition. Candidates in electoral alliances are placed in the order in which they appear in the agreements of the electoral alliance. Candidates in the candidate lists are numbered in the order stated in the first paragraph of this Section, beginning with the number two (2). The combination of candidate lists shall then be listed alphabetically, starting with A, in the order in which they are drawn by lots. The combination must state the election for which it is intended.
The Central Election Committee is responsible for procuring the ballot papers to be used in the ballot box election.
The ballot paper must clearly state the election for which it is intended. In addition, the ballot paper must contain a circle for indicating the number of the candidate being backed by the voter.
The time and polling stations shall be decided by the Central Election Committee.
The duration of the polling shall be at least eight (8) hours. The polling may be held for two consecutive days. Election committees shall be informed of the time and polling stations at least two weeks before the election on the Student Union’s bulletin board or in the student newspaper.
If the number of approved candidates matches the number of positions to be filled, polling will not be held.
Holding a ballot box election
The Central Election Committee and the elections committees shall convene for polling at the invitation of the Chair of the Central Election Committee.
After each election committee has elected a secretary from amongst its members and received from the Central Election Committee the combination of candidate lists and the required number of ballot papers, the polling begins at the stated time.
Before the start of polling, the election committee and the first voter must confirm that the ballot box to be used for voting is empty. A ballot box that has previously been used in another polling station may be used at the polling station. Before using the ballot box, it must be confirmed that the ballot box has been locked and sealed so that ballot papers could not have been inserted into it. After that, a member of the Central Election Committee shall open the lock and break the seals so that inserting ballot box papers is possible again. At no time must the ballot box be opened, but the inner lid of the ballot box must always be closed and sealed.
During polling, at least three members of the election committee must be present at the polling station.
The election committee must ensure that no disturbances or election advertising take place at the polling station.
The election committee is prohibited to give information about the electoral register or who has exercised their right to vote to anyone except the electoral officials. Upon request, the election committee must provide those whose are entitled to vote of the regulations of this document.
The polling station and every polling booth must have sufficient amount of visible candidate lists. The election committee must ensure that voters can maintain their election secrecy, mark their ballot papers and that the polling booths contain polling instructions and any necessary aids.
A person who wishes to exercise their right to vote must register with the election committee in order to receive a ballot paper.
The election committee must take care to ensure that ballots are only given to those who are entitled to vote.
The person who is entitled to vote must mark the number of the candidate they want to vote for in the designated place on the ballot paper. No other marks must be made on the ballot paper.
If a person entitled to vote wishes to use a new ballot paper, they shall receive one from the election committee in exchange for the previous ballot paper, which the election committee shall mark as void and retain it in a closed envelope which shall be handed over to the Central Election Committee.
After marking the candidate’s number on the ballot paper, the person entitled to vote must take the folded ballot paper to the election committee for stamping. After the ballot is stamped, the person entitled to vote must insert the stamped ballot paper into the ballot box. The person entitled to vote has exercised their right to vote once they have inserted the stamped ballot paper into the ballot box.
The election committee makes a note in the electoral register indicating that the ballot paper has been stamped and the right to vote has been exercised.
If the election committee is unanimous on an act, it shall immediately be subjected to the resolution of the Central Election Committee.
The Central Election Committee must be contactable by the election committees throughout the whole polling period. The Central Election Committee is quorate when half of its members or at least three of its members, including the Chair, are present.
The Central Election Committee must resolve issues on which the election committee has not reached a unanimous decision, supervise the general progress of the election and monitor that the election committees are complying with identical instructions and give them instructions in that respect.
A member of the Student Union entitled to vote has the right to vote in advance as intended in this Chapter.
Following the publication of the candidate list, the advance voting shall take place on the dates fixed by the Central Election Committee.
The first advance voting day must be at least four (4) days before the actual polling days.
The Central Election Committee shall specify the advance polling stations and the duration of the advance voting of each advance voting day.
Polling shall be organized by the Central Election Committee’s secretary and the members of the election committees appointed by the Central Election Committee in accordance with the instructions of the Central Election Committee.
The Central Election Committee shall ensure that polling times and the detailed arrangements for advance voting are communicated immediately after the publication of the combination of candidate lists and at the polling stations.
No disturbances or election advertising shall take place at the advance polling station. Those present must comply with the regulations given by the election committee to maintain order and to ensure an undisrupted polling process.
In other respects, the applicable parts of what is stated in Chapter V of these election rules with regard to voting shall be followed.
A person who wishes to exercise their right to vote in advance must register with the election committee.
The election committee must take care to ensure that ballots are only given to those who are entitled to vote.
In the case of marks on a ballot paper, as well as obtaining a new ballot paper, the regulations stated in Chapter V of the election rules shall be followed. Election secrecy must be maintained at the advance polling stations.
When advance voting has closed, the Central Election Committee must ensure that the sealed ballot box is kept in a locked place and opened only in conjunction with the actual counting of the votes. Or, if the same ballot box is used later at another polling station, care shall be taken to comply with the regulations of Section 29 of these election rules.
At the beginning of the counting of votes, the Central Election Committee must state that the number of ballot papers in the ballot box is the same as in the documents and in the electoral register. The statement shall be recorded in the minutes.
Otherwise, the regulations of Chapter VIII shall apply to the counting of votes.
The Council election can be carried out completely or partially as an electronic election following a proposal by the Central Election Committee and with the decision of the Council.
In conjunction with the election declaration, the Central Election Committee shall provide instructions on the arrangements for an electronic election, as well as procedures to be followed in exceptional circumstances.
The voting system must fulfil the following conditions:
The level of the data security of the voting system is sufficient and a data security inspection has been carried out on the voting system.
The identity of the voter is verified credibly before voting.
The voter’s identity cannot be linked afterwards with any vote cast.
In particular, the Central Election Committee shall ensure that the electronic voting can be conducted in a reliable manner while preserving election secrecy.
In other respects, the applicable parts of what is stated in these election rules and in other rules of the Student Union shall be followed in an electronic election.
Determining the outcome of the election
The counting of votes shall be done at the polling stations. The ballot papers are taken out of the ballot box and counted without being opened. The number of people who exercised their right to vote shall counted according to the electoral register. The ballot papers are then opened and checked.
The ballot papers that are void, in accordance with Sections 4 and 41, are separated into their own groups. The remaining ballot papers are organized so that the ballot papers cast for each candidate are put into separate groups. The number of ballot papers of each electoral alliance, electoral coalition, and candidate are entered in the minutes, as well as the total number of ballot papers cast.
A ballot paper is void if it has not been received from the election committee or if the candidate’s number has been marked in a way that does not fully clearly show which candidate the voter intended, or clearly inappropriate marks have been made on it. However, a period after a number or an underlined number must not be a reason for rejecting a ballot.
In an electronic election, two members of the Central Election Committee collect the result from the system together.
The Central Election Committee inspects the minutes of the election committees and the counts therein, decides on the rejection of void ballot papers, and counts the final outcome of the election.
The ballot papers cast for the same candidate shall be considered a voting group.
The candidates in each electoral alliance shall be listed in order of the number of votes they received. A random draw shall decide the order of candidates who received the same number of votes.
After that, as a comparative index, the total number of the electoral alliance’s votes is recorded for the candidate who received the highest number of votes, half of that for the candidate who came second, one third for the candidate who came third, and so on.
If the electoral alliance is not part of an electoral coalition, the comparative index obtained this way is the final comparative index.
In an electoral coalition, the candidates are arranged in the order of the comparative indices obtained in electoral alliances. A random draw shall decide the order of those who received the same comparative index. After that, as a final comparative index, the total number of the electoral coalition’s votes is recorded for the candidate of the electoral coalition who came first, half of that for the candidate who came second, one third for the one who third, and so on.
All the candidates are arranged in order of on the basis of the sizes of the final comparative indices. A random draw shall decide the order of those who received the same comparative index. After that, beginning with the candidate who received the highest final comparative index, all the positions that were to be fulfilled in the election are declared as having been elected. The number of deputy members, selected in order of the comparative indices, for each electoral alliance shall be twice as many as actual members of that electoral alliance.
If a member or a deputy member of the Council resigns or loses their eligibility for office, a deputy member shall be called from the same electoral alliance in order of the comparative indices to replace them.
Unless new members can be nominated from the same electoral alliance, the position of a member or a deputy member shall go to an electoral alliance from the same electoral coalition whose candidate has the highest comparative index after all the positions have been elected. If this is not possible, the position of a member or a deputy member shall go to any electoral alliance whose candidate has the highest comparative index after all the positions have been elected. The next position of a member or a deputy member thus opened shall go to an electoral alliance whose candidate has the second highest comparative index after all the positions have been elected, and so on.
If an electoral alliance thus obtains a position of a member or a deputy member from another electoral alliance, no specific person shall be nominated thereto, but the deputies of the electoral alliance shall be called to a meeting as members in the order determined by the election result. The first deputy member of an electoral alliance shall always be called before the second deputy member, whether or not they act as a deputy member for a member who belongs to their own electoral alliance or another electoral alliance.
If an electoral alliance receives a member position or a deputy position from another electoral alliance, the number of its deputy members shall be increased by two per actual member and one per deputy member.
The result of the election is announced on the Student Union’s official bulletin board. All members of the Central Election Committee must sign the minutes of the Central Election Committee.
A member of the Student Union may appeal against an act of an election committee to the Central Election Committee before polling ends. The Central Election Committee must rule on the appeal without delay.
A decision by the Central Election Committee that concerns the result of the election may be appealed against to the Board of Executives within 14 days of the publication of the decision.
Documents and ballot papers resulting from the election must be kept in a locked place until potential appeals intended in Section 47 (2) have been ruled.
Thereafter, the documents are filed in the Student Union’s archives.