Choice Voting have been working with UCU- The University and College Union (UCU) to administer a set of 3 elections running concurrently. These elections cover electing the UCU annual Committee members.
We caught up with Edward Bailey, the head of campaigns at University College Union to ask him about his reasons for working with Choice Voting.
I’m Ed Bailey, deputy head of campaigns at University and College Union (UCU) which is the trade union for further and higher education staff.
Who is your election for?
UCU branch officer positions at one of our university branches in Wales.
What steered you to using an online voting platform such as Choice Voting?
We use online voting for non-statutory ballots and elections and we decided to try Choice Voting as it has the facility to run elections using the single transferable vote (STV) model required by our union rules.
Where do you see the biggest benefits in using online voting software, for yourself and for your members?
Online voting is an efficient way of enabling our members to participate and turnout is particularly important to trade unions these days. Our members are extremely busy and not always able to attend branch meetings where voting traditionally took place. Another benefit is to reduce the cost and time spent in running paper ballots.
Would you consider online voting a good option to help your voters engage with your election?
Certainly. It removes many of the practical obstacles to participating in union democracy.
What is your role in administering your elections?
Our team runs non-statutory and consultative ballots and elections on behalf of branches (on request) as well as larger national consultations.
Is this your first venture into online voting, if so, has the experience improved how you conduct elections?
We’ve been conducting online voting and surveys for the union for several years but our existing software was not suited to some forms of election. The level of support and advice available has been excellent and the software is very easy to use. Very straightforward process for participants to cast their vote but also a secure system that users can have confidence in.