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Senate Election Rules for the Other Academic Staff Group D Electorate

1. Short Title; Purpose

1.1 Title. These Rules will be referred to as the Senate Election Rules for the Other Academic Staff Electorate Group D.

1.2 Purpose. The purpose of these Election Rules shall be to establish orderly procedures and rules for the election of senators from the Other Academic Staff Electorate Group D to the Senate of the Urbana-Champaign campus.

2. Electorate Qualifications

2.1 General Qualifications. The Constitution, Article III, Sections I, provides:

The Other Academic Staff electorate is composed of those members of the Other Academic Staff who are engaged in and responsible for the educational function of the University; ordinarily this will involve teaching and research.  Specifically, the Other Academic Staff electorate shall consist of all persons of the campus non-visiting academic staff who have a full-time appointment, are paid by the University, are not candidates for a degree from this University, and who:  . . .

d. Are members of the academic staff as defined in the University Statutes, Article II, Section 5, and satisfy the teaching or research criteria established by the Senate Committee on University Statutes and Senate Procedures and approved by the Senate. 

The Constitution, Article II, Section 3, provides:

. . . Seven senators will be elected by those described in section 1d.  Elections for this group shall be held on the basis of employment in an academic unit or the University of Illinois Extension or the Institute for Natural Resource Sustainability.  These election units shall be as nearly equal in size as is practicable and shall be the same as the voting units for the relevant Council of Academic Professionals election districts.

Each member of the electorate shall be entitled to cast one vote for the one open senatorial position apportioned to the voting unit.

2.2 Process for Determining Eligibility to Vote.  These Election Rules are structured so the decision process is made at the College level.   To satisfy these criteria, everyone in the electorate must have some type of regular contact with students, whether undergraduate or graduate, which involves teaching or furthering the student’s research.  With respect to the Institute for Natural Resource Sustainability (INRS), the person must be actively involved in research.  With respect to the University of Illinois Extension, the person must actively be involved in teaching.  The process is:

(a.) Annually, the Division of Management Information (DMI) creates the list of all academic professionals who fulfill criteria for Group D electorate, above, sorted by unit code.  USSP shall determine what information this list should contain beyond name, unit affiliation, and job title.

(b.) USSP sends this list to the appropriate College-level or similar level Unit Executive Officer (typically a Dean or Director). 

(c.) The UEO establishes who in their unit does or does not comply with the basic criterion that each member of the electorate must have some type of regular contact with students, whether undergraduate or graduate, which involves teaching or furthering the research of the student.  The UEO may delegate this responsibility to the UEOs of individual internal units.

(d.) The UEO collects this information, collates it and insures consistency of application of the criteria given in 2.2 across the unit.  The UEO sends the list of those who do or do not meet the criteria back to USSP.

(e.) If USSP approves, the list is forwarded to the Clerk of the Senate for the election.  If USSP does not approve, the chair will contact the UEO and discuss any possible problems.  USSP does not envision this as an appeal process, per se, but as a general look at the types of positions excluded.  USSP will make sure that similar types of positions are included or excluded across the academic unit or ask the UEO to explain the differences among the various units.  Guidance on this matter will be given to the UEO, so by the time it reaches USSP there is an appearance of uniform application of the guidelines.

2.3 Time of Determining Status. Eligibility to vote, and membership in a particular department or college, will be determined by the person's status at the time the ballot is cast. All names to be added to the list of qualified members of the electorate must go through the process in Section 2.2, above.

3. Election and Credentials Committee

3.1 Designation. The Council of Academic Professionals (CAP) is designated the Elections and Credentials Committee for the Other Academic Staff Group D Senate Elections. Under the Bylaws this committee may perform whatever duties are delegated to them by the Senate Committee on University Statutes and Senate Procedures (USSP).

3.2 Delegation of Power. The USSP will delegate various duties to CAP by way of Rules and Guidelines it adopts and publishes. These Rules and Guidelines may be added to, amended, or repealed at any time by the USSP.

3.3 Specific Powers. The USSP hereby delegates to the CAP the following duties, subject to any limitations set forth in the Rules and Guidelines of the USSP.  In all units, the CAP will conduct nomination and election procedures under the supervision of the Clerk of the Senate.

3.4 Restriction of Power. All activities of the USSP and of the CAP shall conform to the relevant provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws adopted by the Senate.

4. Election Units

4.1 Election Unit. As per the Constitution, the Other Academic Staff electorate defined in Article III, Section 1d (Group D) is composed of all those members of the other academic staff who satisfy the qualifications in Section 2 of these Rules.  Elections shall be held on the basis of voting units.  These election units shall be as nearly equal in size as is practicable and shall be the same as the voting units for the relevant CAP election districts.  Seven senators will be elected by those in the Other Academic Staff Group D.  The electorate for this group shall be held on the basis of employment in an academic unit or the University of Illinois Extension or the Institute for Natural Resource Sustainability (INRS).  Everyone in the electorate must have some type of regular contact with students, whether undergraduate or graduate, which involves teaching or furthering the student’s research.  With respect to INRS, the person must be actively involved in research.  With respect to Extension, the person must actively be involved in teaching.  The academic units are defined at the College or similar level, and the process for termining qualification in the electorate is articulated in Section 2.2, above.  

5. Time and Duration of Elections

5.1 Duration. The final election shall be held on seven calendar days, at a time starting as specified by USSP in the Timetable issued to all voting units.

5.2 Time. Nominating elections and final elections shall be held at such times as shall be specified by the USSP.

6. Candidate Qualifications

6.1 General Qualifications. All persons included in the Other Academic Staff electorate Group D shall be eligible for election to the Senate, without distinction on the basis of rank or other criteria.

6.2 Single Seat Limitation. No person can be a candidate for more than one Senate seat.

6.3 Limited Terms. The terms of senators elected from the Other Academic Staff electorate Group D shall be two years, with a maximum of three consecutive terms. The election of an Other Academic Staff electorate Group D senator in a regular election constitutes a full term unless the senator resigns prior to the Organizational Meeting of the Senate. A replacement senator who is elected prior to January 1 of the first year of the term of a vacant seat shall be considered to have served a full term.

7. Notice of Election; Publicity

7.1 Requirement of Notice. The CAP shall distribute information concerning elections to members of the electorate. Election information includes the composition of the election units within the College-level or similar level Unit, the location of polling places for each election unit, the hours during which the polls will be open, and the names of the candidates in each election unit as well as the name of their department or equivalent unit designation.

7.2 Method of Notice. A recommended method of informing persons about the elections is a mailing via hardcopy or electronic means to the constituent members of the voting unit telling them which voting unit they are in, who the candidates in that unit are, and where and when they may vote.

7.3 Use of University Funds. No University funds shall be spent for production or distribution of any campaign statements.

7.4 Methods of Voting. The Notice of Election (Section 7), Publicity (Section 7), Nomination Process (Section 8) and Election Procedures (Section 9) are detailed as indicated.  These activities can be carried out either via hardcopy (requiring mail or hand delivery to the polling place as described below) or via electronic means.  Whichever method is used, there must be:  a) a reasonable time frame observed for the vote to occur, b) a confidentiality about voting and authentication, c) a stated process by which ties are resolved, and d) a reasonable retention period for the relevant records. 

8. Nomination Process

8.1 By Election. Nominations of Other Academic Staff Group D senators shall be by election in accordance with Article III, Section 4 of the Senate Constitution:

Those eligible to vote in each Other Academic Staff voting unit shall be notified that an election is to be held.  Any member of the Other Academic Staff electorate who desires to run for election from their electorate unit shall submit a statement to that effect and a short biography to the appropriate Other Academic Staff voting unit elections and credentials committee.  The nominee receiving the highest number of votes shall be deemed elected.

During the nomination process, the number of nominations that can go forward for the election is twice the number of senators to be elected or all those nominated and willing to serve if their number is less than twice the number to be elected.

8.2 Casting Ballots. Ballots shall be cast in person or returned by mail to the Clerk of the Senate or via electronic means approved by USSP.

8.3 Time of Balloting. Completed nominating ballots must be received by the chair of CAP no later than 5:00 p.m. on the seventh day (inclusive) following the day upon which the ballots are first made available to Other Academic Staff Group D members.

8.4 Nominating Ballots.

(a.) Willingness to Serve. The CAP shall send an announcement to all those eligible to vote that an election is to be held.  Any member of the Other Academic Staff Group D electorate who desires to run for election from their electorate unit shall submit a statement to that effect and a short biography to the CAP.

(b.) Preparation of Ballots. Nominating ballots shall be prepared and distributed by the Clerk of the Senate, and shall conform as nearly as possible to the model ballot issued by the USSP.

(c.) Contents. Ballots shall contain

(1.) the names and unit designation of all those who have fulfilled the requirements in section 8.4(a), and

(2.) directions concerning how each ballot is to be marked, and where and when the ballot must be returned.

(d.) Order of Names. Names of eligible Other Academic Staff Group D members may be placed on the ballot in alphabetical order or any other reasonable order.

8.5 Notice. The CAP is responsible for notifying the winning nominees and shall forward to the Clerk of the Senate a list of those nominees, their email address, and their campus address.

9. Election Procedures

9.1 Ballot Contents. The names on the final election ballot shall be a maximum of two and a minimum of one as only one seat is up for election in each voting unit.

9.2 Order of Names. Names of candidates shall be placed on the election ballot in random order.

9.3 Withdrawal. Before the election ballot is prepared, any Other Academic Staff Group D member who has received nominating votes may withdraw by delivering a signed notice of withdrawal to the Clerk of the Senate.

9.4 Conducting the Polling.

(a.) Location of Polling Places. Ballots shall be available at the Senate Office or via electronic means for seven calendar days.

(b.) Signature of Voter. Before voting, each member of the electorate shall sign opposite their name on the official electorate list of that voting unit or if using an electronic voting system, have a way to ensure only those eligible to vote can participate and that those eligible to vote can vote only once.  Confidentiality of all votes must be ensured at all times.  If the voting procedure links any identification with votes cast, this information must not be referenced during the tallying of the votes nor saved with the election results.

(c.) Official Electorate List. An official listing of the Other Academic Staff Group D electorate shall be kept in the Senate Office, and shall be marked to show each member who has voted. This listing shall be kept on file and made available upon request.

9.5 Election Supervision. The CAP shall be responsible for ensuring that the Other Academic Staff Group D election is carried on in accordance with these Rules.

9.6 Requirements for Election.

(a.) Automatic Election. If the number of Other Academic Staff Group D members nominated and willing to serve for each opening is one an election need not be held; that person, nominated and willing to serve, may be declared automatically elected.

(b.) Plurality Required. The nominees receiving the highest number of votes in the final election shall be deemed elected.

(c.) Ties in the Final Election. Ties in the final election will be resolved by a coin flip or a drawing of lots by the Clerk of the Senate.

9.7 Returns; Counting; Certification.

(a.) Removal of Ballots from Boxes. If hardcopy methods are used, ballots may be removed from the ballot box only at the end of the voting period or when the box is filled to capacity. Ballots shall be removed from the ballot box only by an election official. Ballots shall be transferred immediately to some sealed container, such as a paper bag or envelope. The sealed container shall be signed by the election officer who transferred the ballots. The sealed container also shall be marked with information showing the date and time of the ballot transfer, the number of ballots transferred (to be determined by reference to the signature sheet), and the election unit in which the ballots are cast. The sealed container shall be stored in a safe place.  If electronic means are used, the report of the election shall be obtained at the end of the voting period and the file stored in a safe place.

(b.) Counting. The CAP shall provide for the counting of the ballots immediately following the deadline for casting ballots. No interested party shall participate in the counting process. If hardcopy methods are used, any member of the Other Academic Staff Group D electorate may be present during the counting process within reasonable limits of space. The results of the count shall be entered on a tally sheet signed by those who counted the ballots. If electronic means are used, there shall be a process by which the results can be certified if challenged.

(c.) Write-in Ballots. No write-in ballots are to be counted.

(d.) Doubtful Ballots. Intention of the voter shall be the only standard for interpreting doubtful ballots. If the intention can be determined, the ballot shall be counted in accordance with the intent. If the intention cannot be determined (e.g., three candidates marked for only two seats), then the ballot shall not be counted.

(e.) Certification by CAP. If hardcopy methods are used, the tally sheet and all ballots shall be delivered or made available immediately to the CAP.  If electronic means are used, the report of the election shall be obtained at the end of the voting period and the file stored in a safe place.  The CAP, after satisfying itself that the vote shown on the tally sheet is correct, shall so certify by signing certification cards provided by the Senate Office, and shall deliver the cards immediately to the Senate Office. The Senate Office shall arrange for the preservation of all ballots, tally sheets, or electronic files for a period of six months.

10. Election Certification by Senate Committee
The USSP shall certify election results to the Senate at the organizational meeting of the newly elected Senate. These results shall be entered in the minutes of that meeting. The USSP may delay certification of candidates whose elections are in doubt or may certify the election of such candidates upon appropriate conditions.

11. Formal Reports
All reports from USSP should be addressed to the Senate Clerk.

12. Absentee Ballots - Applicable only if hardcopy methods are used.

12.1 Identification Statement. If using hardcopy methods, each absentee voter shall be required to sign and return an identification form (prepared by the department), in lieu of signing the voter list as required of voters on campus.

12.2 By Request Only. An absentee ballot can be obtained only by requesting it from the administrative office of the voting unit.

12.3 Time Limit. To be valid an absentee ballot must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. of the last day of the election in the administrative office of the voting unit.

12.4 Mailing. Absentee ballots must be mailed early enough to allow ample time for their return before the deadline.

13. Grievances and Appeals

13.1 CAP Jurisdiction. CAP shall have original jurisdiction over certification of successful election of candidates.

13.2 Appeal to University Statutes and Senate Procedures (USSP). Any aggrieved person may appeal a decision to the USSP, and actions and decisions of the USSP may be appealed to the Senate by any senator.

13.3 Procedure for Unlisted Persons Claiming Electorate Status. If any Other Academic Staff Group D member whose name does not appear on the official listing desires to vote and claims entitlement to do so, the validity of that claim shall be decided by the chair of USSP before termination of the voting period. If the claim cannot be so decided, the member shall be provided a ballot after signing a statement that he/she is a qualified member of the electorate. The voter's signed statement and vote shall be kept separate and shall not be counted with the other votes; they shall be delivered to the USSP at the same time as the other ballots and the tally sheets are delivered. The USSP will decide whether the member is or is not entitled to vote. If the person is so entitled, the chair of USSP will add that vote to the tally sheet.

14. Resignations and Vacancies

14.1 No Nominations. If no person is nominated for a Senate seat during the general election, then the Other Academic Staff Group D electorate shall have the option of electing an eligible member of the electorate to that seat in the fall. Election procedures shall be developed by USSP.

14.2 Disqualification from Electorate. If a senator fails to satisfy the requirements for membership in the electorate during their term of office, the Senate shall determine whether the senator may remain seated.

14.3 Review of Status. The Clerk of the Senate will review official records each semester, and will report to the USSP the names of all those senators no longer in the employ of the University.

14.4 Vacancies. Vacancies shall be filled by election of a member of the voting unit for the remainder of the vacant term in accordance with the nomination and election procedures prescribed in Article III of the Senate Constitution.