Key campaigning rules for candidates

Electoral regulations are in place to keep elections fair and to protect the voters.

Read our electoral regulations

Key principles

Integrity and truth.
In wider elections, media attention is expected to catch candidates out if they spread misinformation. (Whether this is effective enough is a different matter).

Widespread media attention is not possible in student council elections, and so the electoral regulations explicitly ban untrue statements. If candidates spread misinformation, it is the role of the Returning Officer to find ways to penalise them. If you are campaigning, please remember the importance of maintaining integrity.

Cost fairness.
If all forms of campaigning were allowed, a candidate could disproportionately increase their chance of being elected by spending large sums of money. To prevent the costs getting too high, various campaign tactics are banned.

Payment in exchange for votes is obviously banned, but so too is paying for advertising. Note that this includes a ban on social media outlets that use a “redpocket”, where people receive money for reading your post, even if the amount is tiny.

Protecting voters.
In many elections, voting takes place in private booths at a polling station, where a candidate can’t interfere. Since our elections are online, GSA can’t provide the same protection, but it is important that all votes are private. No candidate or campaigner should be able to see how someone has voted, and people must be given space to vote freely.

If you are campaigning, it is fine (indeed expected) to ask people to vote for you, and to tell them why you think you’re the best choice. However, voters need to be given privacy to vote, without having someone coercing or hampering them in any way.

Questions

Please direct questions or concerns regarding the elections to the Returning Officer, Stephen Luntz: sluntz@abovequota.com.au