Last week over 2,000 of our students voted to elect next year's Sabbatical Officers and other student representatives based on a new democratic structure introduced following our referendum in January this year.
As part of normal election protocol, the process was overseen by an independent and external Returning Officer. During our voting period we received a large number of complaints which related to a wide range of candidates and campaigners, and specifically, their behaviour when securing votes.
Holding free and fair elections are part of the Union of Kingston Students and Kingston University's legal duty. Everyone must have a fair chance to campaign and vote, and everyone must be able to cast their vote in secret.
Our Returning Officer has decided to declare the results as invalid, and we will be holding a new voting period next week. We have not counted the votes cast.
Union of Kingston Students and the University want to encourage appropriate student participation in our elections and for those elected to be credible and representative voices of the student body. As such we will not, and can not, tolerate any culture of cheating and have therefore made significant changes to the way we will re-run voting week.
We will conduct a paper ballot of our students, at designated points across four campuses, allowing our students to vote in secret.
For students unable to vote in person, they will be able to apply for a postal vote. We will publish the link to apply for a postal vote on our website, and you must ask for a postal vote by 11:59 pm on Sunday 3 March. We'll post a ballot to you, and you must return it to us before we begin the count on Thursday 7 March.
You will be able to vote from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (5-7 March). Polling stations will be placed prominently at each campus and you will need your student ID card to vote.
We will conduct the counting of the ballots on Thursday 7 March, from 5:00 pm and will announce the results at our results party on Friday 8 March, from 5:00 pm, in the Union Social Space, at our Penrhyn Road campus.
We hope that all candidates and students will take the opportunity to participate fully and fairly in the elections next week in a culture of mutual respect. We are looking forward to the election of Kingston University's next set of student representatives, and a strong student voice for 2019/2020.
You can download and read a copy of the Returning Officer's report here.
Union of Kingston Students and Kingston University.