Electronic voting now underway
University Council elections for members at large are underway and for the first time, eligible voters will be logging into PAWS to cast their ballots.
Council agreed to switch to electronic voting at its Feb. 23 meeting, following up on a motion passed in November 2005 that requested a report on the feasibility of conducting elections electronically. That same 2005 motion transferred responsibility for Council elections to the office of the University Secretary.
Barry Ziola, chair of the Bylaws Committee, reported that a pilot electronic election was held late last year in the College of Kinesiology to fill a vacant faculty position on Council. That trial worked well and the feedback from participants was positive.
Some of the advantages of using a PAWS channel for elections, according to the Bylaws Committee, are the fact voting is paperless, there are no spoiled ballots, confidentiality is maintained, and voters can cast their ballots from any location. The system also prevents voters from registering more than one vote. Eligible voters will be notified by email when voting is available and will be instructed on how to access the PAWS channel.
There have been 42 nominations made for the 21 member-at-large positions open on Council this year. Voting ends at midnight March 31.
If all goes well, the Bylaws Committee will consider adding other features to the election system, including reminders to Council members who have not voted and links to candidate profiles on other web pages.