Online voting, student voice and staff feedback

Three students working together

Elections, Referenda & Student Voice

Run engaging, accessible, secure and robust online elections whichever voting system you use and type of election you need to run including:

  • Student Council/Union roles
  • Staff committees
  • Academic boards
  • Course reps
  • Decision making and preferences.

It can be a completely online experience from nominations to the count but in-person voting is made possible with the MSL Polling Booth - great for engaging with students and staff around your college buildings.

The service provided by MSL for the 2021 Students' Union Elections was fantastic. It made voting simple and accessible to many students who otherwise would not have cast a vote. A digital tool like this has great potential for increasing participation in democratic processes, something which is central to us here in UCC Students' Union and is clearly reflected in the significant increase in voter turnout we saw in this year's elections compared to previous years. - University College Cork Students' Union

Read the University College Cork Students' Union case study.

Infographic of the MSL online elections journey from nominations to the countCandidates add their details, photo, manifesto and proposers all online - but nothing is published until your election administrator approves their submission.

If you need candidates to self-define in order to stand for a post then that happens at the nomination stage too. If the worst happens, it's easy to disqualify a candidate at any point. We help you avoid those situations by providing a prominent area in the election profile to display any self-definition requirements.

Automated notifications mean candidates know when their submission has been confirmed, accepted or any changes are made without college staff needing to contact candidates individually.

Voting

Campaigning has concluded and now the voting opens. You can offer voters a number of options with MSL Elections & Referenda and each time a vote is cast through their account they will receive a notification to help avoid electoral fraud:

  • Online - create a dedicated area on your website and give voters the ability to cast their vote from any web-enabled device. To support security and validity of those votes, MSL Elections & Referenda checks and validates voter ID and ensures multiple votes cannot be cast.
  • Polling booth - touchscreen voting gives voters a quick and convenient method of participating.
  • App - your own dedicated StudentLink® app includes voting so you're sure of reaching voters on their favourite devices wherever they are.

Real-Time Stats

Customisable live voting dashboards for your website are a great way for you to maintain voter engagement, encourage non-voters to participate and bring in some competition between courses, years and college clubs so they can see how many other voters have taken part.

The Count

Conduct the count in private, in public or have one of the MSL election experts run the count for you. Whichever you choose, the MSL counting procedure offers transparency at all stages.

It deals with multiple RON candidates, adding/withdrawing candidates and, under STV, transferring surplus votes.

Once the count is complete the results can be published directly on your website and voting data exported for your records.

Safeguarding

We take safeguarding very seriously and these features are all included to help you protect against electoral fraud:

  • Vote acknowledgement notification - each time a vote is cast through their account, the voter receives a notification
  • Polling Booth invigilation – staff check the student ID matches the student who wishes to vote before they do so
  • Check user access – ensure unauthorised users cannot access student IDs and accounts Password re-sets - for election admins to ensure no other users have access to administration areas
  • Secure admin permissions – the ability to lockdown rights to an election for specific users

Whether or not course reps are voted in, your reps can make use of a whole set of resources just for them so they can easily stay in touch with and support their cohorts:

  • Find my rep pages for students to quickly access course rep and contact details
  • Forums for course, school or faculty members to connect and support each other
  • Messaging and polling tools for reps to reach the students they represent

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