Governance

Statute No. 12: Method of Election by Convocation of Persons to be Members of the Senate

Further information

  • Statute 4 - Applications for Admission to Convocation
  • Statute number 9 - Convocation
  • Governance and structure: Convocation

Statute No. 12: Method of Election by Convocation of Persons to be Members of the Senate

1. In this Statute—

'Warden' means the Warden of Convocation or, in his or her absence, the Deputy Warden or, in the absence of the Deputy Warden, a person appointed by the Chancellor;

'Convocation Officer' means the Convocation Officer or, in his or her absence, a Returning Officer appointed by the Warden.

2. In every year in which a vacancy occurs, other than a vacancy referred to in Clause 3, the election of members of the Senate must be held on the second Tuesday of March or on such later date in that month as the Senate may appoint.

3. In the event of the office of a member of the Senate elected by Convocation becoming vacant by death or resignation or otherwise before the expiration of the full term, the Senate, at its first meeting after the vacancy occurs, must fix a day for the election of a successor.

4. At least 60 days' notice of any election must be given by advertisement in the University's internal newspaper and in at least one daily or weekly newspaper published in Perth.

5.(1) Nominations of candidates must reach the Warden no later than 42 days before the date fixed for the election.

(2) Each nomination must be in writing signed by the nominee and two persons eligible to vote in the election as proposer and seconder.

6. Persons are not eligible for election who—

(a) are not of the full age of 21 years;
(b) are undischarged bankrupts;
(c) are insolvents under administration;
(d) have been convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment, unless they have received a free pardon or have undergone the sentence passed upon them;
(e) are of unsound mind or are persons whose person or estate is liable to be dealt with in any way under the law relating to mental health; or
(f) are not members of Convocation.

7. On the expiration of the time for receiving nominations, the Warden must arrange for the names of the nominees and the fact of their candidature to be advertised in the University's internal newspaper and in at least one daily or weekly newspaper in Perth.

8.(1) If the number of candidates is equal to the number of vacancies the Warden must report the fact to the Chancellor, who then declares the candidate or candidates duly elected.

(2) If there are more candidates than vacancies, the election is by ballot of the members of Convocation.

9.(1) If a ballot is necessary for the election of members of the Senate, the Convocation Officer must, not later than 28 days after the latest day for receiving nominations, post with the notice of the First Ordinary Meeting of Convocation, sent in accordance with the provisions of sub-clause 18(2) of Statute No. 9:

(a) a voting paper;
(b) an envelope that is marked 'Voting Paper—Election of Senate Member'; and
(c) a reply paid envelope on which is written or printed the address of the Convocation Officer and the words 'Convocation—Election of Senate Member' and on the back of which is printed a form of declaration as set out below.

I declare I am a member of the Convocation of The University of Western Australia and that I have not previously voted at this election.
Signature .........................................................................
Full name (Block letters) ................................................

(2) In the event that the office of a member of the Senate elected by Convocation becomes vacant from any cause whatsoever except termination of office by effluxion of time and a ballot is necessary, the Convocation Officer must, not later than 28 days after the latest day for receiving nominations, post to each member of Convocation whose name and address is entered in the Postal List in accordance with the provisions of sub-clause 6(1) of Statute No. 9:

(a) a voting paper;
(b) an envelope that is marked 'Voting Paper—Election of Senate Member'; and
(c) a reply paid envelope on the back of which is printed a form of declaration as set out in sub-clause (1)(c) and on which is written or printed the address of the Convocation Officer and the words 'Convocation—Election of Senate Member'.

10. The ballot is taken on the day appointed for the election at the University or such other place as the Senate may determine, of which due notice must have been given, and closes at 5pm on the day appointed.

11.(1) The ballot is conducted by the Convocation Officer assisted by scrutineers appointed by the Warden.

(2) Each candidate is entitled to nominate one scrutineer to be present at the ballot.

12.(1) Each voting paper must list the names of all candidates who have been duly nominated, the order in which the names appear on the voting paper having been determined by the Warden by lot, and no voting paper or declaration other than that officially issued as specified above is accepted.

(2) Upon being satisfied that a voting paper or either or both envelopes have been accidentally lost or destroyed, the Convocation Officer must, on application being made, supply another voting paper or envelope, or both, as applicable.

13.(1) A voter must indicate on the voting paper the order of his or her preference by placing numbers consecutively, starting with the number '1' opposite the name of his or her first preference and may continue numbering second and later preferences.

(2) A voting paper will be considered valid up to the point where a sequential numeral is omitted or duplicated.

(3) A voting paper is considered invalid if—

(a) when it is received by the Convocation Officer it is not contained in sealed envelopes with a signed declaration in the form specified in Clause 9; or
(b) it bears the signature of any person or any other mark which identifies the voter.

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14.(1) Each voter must—

(a) place his or her voting paper without any other matter in the envelope provided for that purpose by the Convocation Officer;
(b) seal the envelope and place it in the envelope addressed to the Convocation Officer;
(c) sign the declaration on the envelope addressed to the Convocation Officer; and
(d) post or deliver the envelope to the Convocation Officer.

(2) All voting papers received by the Convocation Officer by 5pm on the day of the election are, if otherwise valid, counted at the scrutiny.

15. Except as provided in Clause 14 a member of Convocation must not, before or after marking the voting paper, transfer or part with it or with the envelope on which the declaration is endorsed to, or permit it to be used by, any other person.

16.(1) The Convocation Officer must at a time or times determined by the Convocation Officer—

(a) open or cause to be opened each envelope in respect of which the declaration has been signed;
(b) check or cause to be checked the names appearing on the declarations with the Postal List of members of Convocation;
(c) open each envelope marked 'Voting Paper—Election of Senate Member' and place it or cause it to be placed in a sealed ballot box;

provided that if there is any dispute as to the genuineness of any signature the Warden must examine the disputed signature and determine conclusively whether or not it is genuine.

(2) At the expiration of the time allotted for the ballot, the Convocation Officer and the scrutineers proceed to the examination of the voting papers.

17. If, on the report of the Convocation Officer or of a scrutineer, the Warden is of the opinion that any voting paper is substantially defective, it must not be used in the election.

18. The distribution of votes cast in the ballot must be carried out by the method described in the appendix to this Statute.

19. The Warden, subject to the provisions of this Statute, determines conclusively all questions of detail concerning the election.

20. The Warden must report the result of the election to the Chancellor, who then declares the candidate or candidates who have been found to be preferred by the electors, duly elected a member or members of the Senate.

21. When the count of the votes has been completed the Convocation Officer must immediately place them in a sealed container and hold them for 14 days at the expiration of which time the Convocation Officer must destroy them unless otherwise directed by the Chancellor.

22. The Convocation Officer must prepare a list of all persons entitled to vote completed to the last day for receiving nominations for any election.

23. All voting papers and envelopes relating to the election by members of Convocation of members of the Senate that are addressed to members at places that do not have a regular surface mail which would normally be received by the addressee within 14 days of posting must, if there is an airmail service available, be forwarded to the addressee by airmail.

24.(1) A person seeking election may deliver, with the nomination referred to in Clause 5, a biography not exceeding 250 words in length, containing all or any of the following particulars of that person:

(a) degree or degrees, date of graduation and other professional qualifications;
(b) profession or position;
(c) details of work on bodies connected or associated with the University;
(d) prizes won, publications issued and research done;
(e) service whether in war or peace to the community or any section of it and positions held in connection with that service;
(f) such other particulars as the candidate may consider appropriate.

(2) If an election is required, the biography of each candidate for election must be submitted to the Vice-Chancellor and the Warden (unless the Warden is seeking election), who may delete any matter which they or he or she (as the case may be) consider to be offensive or untrue.

(3) Before exercising the power to delete any matter from a biography the Vice-Chancellor or Warden must, if possible, consult the candidate concerned.

(4) A copy of the approved biography of each person seeking election showing his or her name and address and the names of the proposer and seconder referred to in Clause 5(2) must be posted with the ballot papers.

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Appendix

Distribution of Votes

1. Each voting paper is given a value of 1, and is distributed to the candidate who is first in the voter's order of preference.

2. The following procedure is repeated until a candidate has been elected for each vacancy.

(1) The vote for each continuing candidate is determined by adding the values of all the papers allocated to that candidate.

(2) The total residual vote is determined by adding the value of the individual candidates' votes.

(3) The quota is determined by dividing the total residual vote by one more than the number of unfilled vacancies, ignoring the fraction, and adding 1.

(4) If one or more candidates has a vote at least as great as the quota, the one with the highest vote is declared elected and the surplus of the electee's votes over the quota is distributed to the continuing candidates as follows:

(a) The surplus is determined by subtracting the quota from the electee's vote.
(b) The transfer fraction is determined by dividing the surplus by the electee's vote.
(c) The value of each of the electee’s papers being transferred is adjusted by multiplying it by the transfer fraction.
(d) Each paper is distributed to the continuing candidate next highest in the voter's order of preference. If no such candidate is specified the paper is set aside as exhausted.

(5) If, on the other hand, no candidate has a vote at least as great as the quota, the candidate with the smallest vote is eliminated and each of that candidate’s papers is distributed to the continuing candidate next highest in the voter's order of preference and if no such candidate is specified the paper is set aside as exhausted.

3. If, in the application of the above procedure, two or more candidates have the same number of votes then it will be decided by lot which candidate shall be elected or eliminated first.

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