e-Voting for Napier Academic Board
The International Teledemocracy Centre (ITC) has been working with Napierís Secretariat to provide e-voting to elect staff to the Napierís Academic Board.
In March 2003, ITC provided a system to support a by-election for a representative for the Napier University Business School. Turnout was 39%. In April 2006, ITC provided a system to support by-elections to the Board. The Business (School Senior Lecturer post), Faculty of Engineering and Computing (Lecturer post) and the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (Lecturer post) were contested, bringing in turnouts of 28%, 25% and 31% respectively.
Elections under the new constitution
In 2006 the University Court agreed a new constitution for the Academic Board and in November, elections were declared to populate it. Up to 20 positions were available. Of these, 2 were contested Ė One member of academic staff elected by and from the School of Computing and one member of academic staff elected by and from the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care. 2 candidates stood for each election.
Turnout improved significantly in these 2 closely called elections: 40% for the School of Computing and 45% for the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care.
Professor Jessie Kennedy was elected by the School of Computing, overtaking the previous representative (and Aprilís election winner) Rob Kemmer by only one vote!
Jane Brown was elected by the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care, with a margin of 3 votes. Another close election with Paddy Perry receiving only 3 fewer. Jane had also taken part in these elections before, being appointed to the Academic Board to represent lecturers in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences in April 2003.
Professor Ann Macintosh, Director of the ITC said: "The ITC is really pleased to be able to adapt its research deliverables for the benefit of the University. Our e-voting system was developed for Highland Council to elect young people to the Highland Youth Parliament - a very successful project running since 2000. It is good to see the system being used for the Academic Board elections"
John McDermott, Secretariat & Management Services, said: "Having acted as Returning Officer now for two on-line elections for the Academic Board, I have been very impressed with the ITC system and the opportunities it gives to interact with the electorate both before and during the voting process as well as, of course, the speed at which the results can be verified and publicised.
I think that the innovation of conducting elections on-line has helped to increase participation and this can only be to the benefit of the Academic Board."