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FAQ – everything you need to know about the university elections

There are many terms and concepts you need to learn when familiarising yourself with the university elections at SDU.

Here’s a complete overview.

Glossary of terms

What is an ‘uncontested election’?

An uncontested election means that it is not necessary to hold a vote.

There is no need to vote if the number of candidates who have been nominated does not exceed the number of mandates within a single representation area. The Election Committee declares the candidates on the list to be elected in the order listed. Non-elected candidates are regarded as substitutes for the elected candidates.

What is a ‘contested election’?

A contested election is when it is possible to vote for different candidates.

If multiple candidate lists have been received with more than the number of candidates to be elected, there is always a contested election. If only one candidate list has been received, but with more candidates than the number to be elected, a contested election is also held if the list is unprioritised.

What does ‘cancellation of election’ mean?

The election is cancelled if, within a particular representation area, a candidate list has not been submitted before the specified deadline.

The consequence of a cancelled election is that there are no elected representatives. For members of academic staff, it is therefore necessary to hold a draw to decide which employees will sit on the body. This is because employees are under a contractual obligation to serve as members of the University's collegiate bodies. In the case of students, it is not possible to appoint representatives, but you can choose to appoint observers without voting rights.

What are ‘list pacts’ and ‘electoral pacts’?
  • Candidate lists can support each other by entering into ‘list pacts’. List pacts are usually formed when one party with several local associations at the University submits several different lists for the election.
  • ‘Electoral pacts’ are entered into between individual lists and list pacts – and possibly between list pacts.
The advantage of entering into list and electoral pacts is that it minimises the number of wasted votes. After the election, the mandates are first allocated to the electoral pacts, and then to the individual parties and list pacts having entered into the electoral pacts.
If two parties in the same electoral pact were both close to obtaining an additional mandate, one of the two parties can use the other party's votes to obtain an extra mandate. It is therefore relevant to know which electoral pact the individual lists have entered into.
What does ‘election decided by draw’ mean?

A draw usually takes place when either no candidate lists have been submitted or not enough candidates have been nominated for a representation area. But a draw can also take place, for example, if two candidates are ‘fighting’ for the substitute position and received the same number of votes in the election.

Election Group I (academic staff) and Election Group II (technical/administrative staff) are under a contractual obligation to serve as members of collegiate bodies. Therefore, the Election Committee draws lots among the employees in the election group as to who is to join the body. The draw will take place immediately after the election and before the results are published. The Election Committee draws lots between the non-elected (but eligible) members of the election group in the area of representation. Lots are drawn both on who is to take office and on who is to act as substitutes (the Election Committee also decides the number of substitutes).

Unlike Election Groups I and II, those in Election Group III (students) are not under a contractual obligation to serve as members of one of the University's governing bodies. Therefore, no draw can be made between the group's non-elected eligible representatives in the representation area. Unoccupied seats within Election Group III are therefore not normally filled until the next ordinary election.

What are ‘coordinated’ and ‘prioritised’ listings?

You can run on a candidate list in ‘coordinated’ or ‘prioritised’ order:

  • Coordinated listing means that the candidates contend for votes on an equal footing among themselves.
  • In a prioritised listing, the top-listed candidates are also typically elected first.

Questions regarding the procedure

How often are university elections held?

At SDU, we hold ordinary elections once a year – at the end of November.

Click here to view which seats are up for election at SDU in the next few years

What does my degree programme/position entitle me to vote for?

Your employment or your education determines your right to vote in the election.

See what you can vote for here

Who can I vote for?

Election lists and candidates will be published on the election page in October and November.

  • View the current election schedule here (PDF).
What if my name appears incorrectly on the election list?
Please contact the Election Secretariat at valg@sdu.dk.
How do I stand for election?

If you want to stand as a candidate for a body (council/board/committee), you must first check that you are eligible (can be elected to the body). If you are listed on the current ‘election list’, you are eligible for election. The election lists will be published on 21 October 2020, and the deadline for submitting candidate lists is 9 November at 12:00 noon.

You can therefore stand as a candidate on 21 October at the earliest, and you do so in the following way:

Either by making an electronic candidate nomination via the e-voting system.
Or by downloading a nomination form (PDF).

Due to corona and working from home, the electronic candidate nomination will probably be the best solution in connection with this election.

In the election circular you can find out how many seats are to be filled for the body in question, and the schedule lists other important deadlines and dates.

How do I check what I have voting rights for?

1. Check your voting rights in the election system:

To check your voting rights, you must log in to the e-voting system with your SDU login.

It is only possible to check your rights once the election lists have been published on 21 October 2020.

Once logged in to the election system, you can see which bodies you can vote for and when.

2. If you wish to stand for election:

If you want to stand for election, you can check the ‘election list’, which is a list of all eligible persons. To check your actual registration, search your name on the list. Using the list, you can find possible candidates for the by-election you want to run for.

3. If you are incorrectly registered or your voting rights are incorrect:

If you are not registered correctly, please contact the Election Secretariat.

Check the schedule (opens as PDF) to find out when you must submit your objection to the Election Secretariat for the current election. Please note: Errors are continuously corrected for as long as is practically possible.

How are votes counted and seats distributed?
The votes are automatically counted in an electronic election system. Elections to the Board and the collegiate bodies take place by proportional representation, following the ‘D'Hondt method’. Read more in the election rules under the section ‘Vote Count’, §§ 12-16 of the election rules.
When can I see the election results?
The results will be published on the election website as soon as possible after the election.
See the deadline for publication in the current schedule (PDF).

Questions for voting and e-voting system

How do I vote?

You want to vote electronically via the e-voting portal during the election period (24 November at 9:00 AM – 25 November at 7:00 PM).

You log on to the system with your SDU login and password.

If you are prevented from voting via e-voting, you can request letter voting materials by writing to the Election Secretariat at valg@sdu.dk. Please see the schedule for deadlines.

Can others see what I voted?
No.
The Electoral Secretariat are the only ones who can see that you have voted, but not what you have voted. All communication between your computer and the election system is encrypted, so nobody else can see what you voted.
Who can I contact if the system doesn’t work?
Please contact the Election Secretariat at valg@sdu.dk.
Do I get a receipt?
No.
However, the system keeps track of whether or not you have voted.
What happens if the system ‘crashes’?
During the election, the Election Secretariat receives regular reports from the e-voting system once an hour. In the event of malfunctions, the Election Secretariat has various support options and an emergency procedure which are initiated.