Voting just got better

On October 24th, 2018, URSU members at our Annual General Meeting passed a motion which included the following language:

BE IT RESOLVED that URSU adopts an Alternative Voting System (Ranked Ballot) in time for the 2019 Winter General Election.

We are pleased to report that the 2020 General Election will be managed through a new election system that makes it possible to fulfill that motion and also offers many other improvements. The Voting Period starts at midnight on March 16th and continues until March 17th at 11:59 pm. Here are some things you should know:

  1. You can go here to vote. You can also look for a link in UR Self Service that says “URSU 2020 General Election.” This link will take you to a 3rd party system to fill out your ballot.
  2. Please make sure you read the instructions at the top of the page.
  3. The questions require you to rank at least some of the candidates. The more students you rank, the more likely that the winner will have an actual majority of support. More information has been provided below.
  4. You no longer need to abstain from questions which you are not eligible to vote on anyway. You will only see questions that you are eligible to vote on.
  5. This year’s election also includes a very important Plebiscite question on the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). The Plebiscite Question is not the same as a referendum and is not binding in the same way, but your vote will inform URSU’s efforts to satisfy a previously passed motion requesting that URSU hold a referendum on leaving CFS.
  6. You will also find pictures and candidate profiles in the ballot as you are voting. If you do not know much about a candidate, you can still inform yourself easily based on what you see in the ballot.

How to Vote

1. The site to vote at is You can find the link here, on our social media, or in UR Self Service.

2. Click the Login button.

3. This will take you to a University of Regina login page. Login using your account (the same one you use for webmail and URCourses).

4. Give SimplyVoting permission to accept your login.

5. Vote by ranking each candidate.

6. After voting on all questions, click Continue and Submit at the bottom of the page.


How is a majority of support achieved?

The election is configured using Ranked Ballots with Single Transferrable Votes (STV). To understand how this works, you need to understand both the rules for Quota and the rules for Tabulation. With STV, quotas are determined before tabulation begins. These quotas are used by the voting system to determine when winners are selected. Once the prescribed number of winners are selected, tabulation stops.

We use a Droop Quota. Droop quota is calculated as follows: ((number of valid votes /number of winners + 1) + 1). If there is a fraction, it is rounded down before adding the +1. The quota remains fixed and will never change from round to round. In the case of only 1 winner this is equivalent to 50% + 1.

We also use a version of STV Tabulation similar to Instant Runoff Voting Tabulation. Ranked ballots are counted as follows:

  1. On the first round of counting, each option shall receive a first preference vote for each vote indicating it as first preference.
  2. Should an option meet the quota of first preference votes after any round, it shall be declared elected. If there are several options meeting the quota the one with the most votes shall be elected. If there is a tie one of those options shall be elected by random draw. Multiple options are never elected simultaneously.
  3. If no option is elected or further winners are required, then the option with the fewest number of first preference votes shall be eliminated from the question. Should there be a tie for the fewest number of first preference votes, then among these, the option with the fewest number of second preference votes shall be eliminated. Should a tie persist, the procedure shall continue with third preference votes, et cetera. Should a tie still persist, the option with the fewest number of original first preference votes, shall be eliminated. Should a tie still persist, the procedures shall continue with original second preference votes et cetera. Should a tie still persist, an option shall be eliminated by random draw. Multiple options are never eliminated simultaneously.
  4. When an option is eliminated, all first preference votes for that option shall be replaced by the vote’s first preferred option that is not yet elected or eliminated. All second preference votes for that option shall be replaced by the vote’s next preferred option that is not yet elected or eliminated, and so on.
  5. This procedure of eliminating option(s) and redistributing first preference votes shall continue until all winners are elected or the number of options left equals the number of winners (this may occur due to exhausted ballots, and those options shall be declared elected).
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