Referendum 2017 Bylaws & Campaigning Rules
To return to the main referendum page, please click here.
For questions about the referendum bylaws, please e-mail the Chief Electoral Officer, Colby Briggs, at email@example.com.
Legal Information Clinic at McGill (LICM) Winter 2017 Referendum Bylaws
- LICM shall call and conduct a referendum in accordance with these bylaws and LICM policy.
- All graduate students registered at McGill University at the time of the referendum (except for students in the School of Continuing Studies, exchange students, students enrolled in the summer sessions, Macdonald Campus students, residents registered in Postgraduate Medical Education and post-doctoral fellows) and who have paid their LICM membership fee to LICM are student members of LICM with voting rights in the referendum ( “Student Members”).
- The referendum question may contain a preamble consisting of a set of factual statements, followed by a clear and concise statement, to be voted on as either “YES”, NO”, or “ABSTAIN”.
- Any referendum question must be approved by the Office of Student Life and Learning and Student Accounts.
- The referendum shall be overseen by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Colby Briggs. Where these bylaws are silent, the CEO shall make decisions so as to make this referendum possible.
- The LICM will submit its referendum question to the CEO by 9:00 AM on Monday, February 13, 2017.
- For the benefit of opening the nomination period, only the referendum question must be submitted by February 13, 2017 as mentioned in paragraph 5 above. The preamble will be submitted to the CEO prior to the voting period.
- Starting at 9:00 AM on Monday, February 27, 2017, the CEO will call for the creation of referendum committees for the referendum question by way of an email to the Student Members explaining the process, deadlines and questions. The nomination period for referendum committees and Chairpersons will be from 9:00 AM on Monday, February 27, 2017 to 11:59 PM on Sunday, March 5, 2017.
- The LICM ‘Yes’ referendum committee will be exempt from nomination procedures.
- If no person comes forward to run the ‘No’ referendum committee, no No ballot statement shall be submitted.
- The statements, if any, submitted by the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ referendum committees will be available to any committee member prior to it forming a part of the referendum ballot. The CEO shall ensure that the statements uphold the democratic value of the process. In case of an objection raised to the wording of the statement, the CEO will expeditiously hold an open hearing and give an opportunity to chairs of both of the committees to put forth their arguments. Upon the conclusion of the hearing the CEO’s decision shall be final and binding on the LICM as well as the ‘No’ Committee, with no right to appeal to the Judicial Board.
- Rules of conduct during the Official Campaign Period shall be determined and made available on the LICM website no later than 48 hours before the start of the Official Campaign Period.
- The Official Campaign Period shall begin at 9:00 AM on Monday, March 6, 2017. It shall end at 11:59 PM on Sunday, March 19, 2017.
- Active campaigning must cease at 11:59 PM on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Committees, however, can still tell Student Members to vote after this time.
- The voting period will last from 9:00 AM on Monday, March 20, 2017 to 9:00 PM on Sunday, March 26, 2017. Voting will be by way of the Omnivox online voting system.
- Campaign material includes any material intended to affect the ballot choice of a Student It does not include materials existing prior to the campaign that was not created with the intent to campaign; it also does not include external materials that were not created with the intent to campaign, such as professional pages (LinkedIn, McGill, etc.).
- Campaign materials used in support of the election campaign of a candidate or referendum committee, including all gifts and contributions, shall not exceed a retail market value of five hundred (500) dollars, including taxes.
- An itemized account of all expenditures (along with the receipts) must be submitted to the CEO within five days of the opening of polls. Duly submitted, authorized campaign expenses will be reimbursed by the LICM in accordance with its financial and accounting policies.
- Quorum for this referendum shall be reached if the number of Student Member votes cast by the last day of voting is equal to or greater than five (5) percent of all the Student Members of LICM.
E. Results of the referendum
- The CEO shall confirm in writing the results of the referendum, specifying:
- Number of Student Member votes cast.
- Number for quorum, and whether quorum was reached.
- Number of votes cast for “Yes”, for “No”, and the number of votes invalidated.
- A referendum passes if the number of ‘Yes’ votes is more than the number of ‘No’ votes Invalidated votes have no value.
- The LICM shall confirm the electoral results, and make the results public on the LICM website, no later than five (5) calendar days from the end of the voting.
- LICM will ensure that the referendum results are duly submitted to McGill and that an official copy of the communication is sent to the CEO for his records.
Winter 2017 Referendum Campaign Rules
In order to fund operations of a benefit to the student body, McGill affiliated associations are permitted to charge fee levies to student members under specific circumstances. These fee levies are subject to student approval. The regulation of fee levy referendums are governed, firstly, by the law, secondly by MELS directives, thirdly, by a Memorandum between LICM and McGill, and, lastly, by internal policy. LICM has also adopted Referendum Bylaws. Please familiarise yourself with these documents. Note that the elections regulations of other on-campus groups do not affect the rules of LICM in the scope of a LICM referendum. As such, officials from the LICM and other associations are subject exclusively to LICM referendum rules in their running of a LICM referendum. External groups may have rules for their elected officers that preclude participation. Elections LICM does not have jurisdiction over such regulations, and, as such, will not address or enforce external rules.
Dates of Note:
Campaigning: March 6th (9h00) – 19th (23h59).
Voting: March 20th (9h00) to 26th (21h00)
Results Dissemination: March 26 th (21h15)
Receipt Submission Deadline (expenses): March 25th (9h00)
Contestation Period End Date: March 31st (23h59).
Only committee members may campaign. Eligible persons may join a committee by having the Committee Chairperson email the CEO. Authorisation is not required – simply alerting the CEO of the person’s name and status (graduate, undergraduate, community) is sufficient. Committee members may include any graduate or undergraduate LICM member or a LICM community volunteer.
Committee members may campaign at any point during the referendum (campaign) period. Campaigning should be done in according with democratic principles, fairness, and validity. Committees are prohibited from deceiving voters, pressuring voters, or otherwise presenting incorrect or prejudicially misleading information. The CEO may call on a committee chair to support claims made by this person’s committee. Please retain this information or be prepared to present it on request. Opinions are permitted, but should be stated as such.
Committees are welcome to speak to the media.
The evening prior to the opening of polls, all active campaigning must stop. Active campaigning includes, for example, targeted emails or facebook reminders, speeches, flyer distribution, and postering. Committees do not need to remove campaign materials prior to the start of voting; however, it is requested that any paper materials that were distributed be removed and recycled following the close of polls.
During the voting period Committees may remind LICM members to vote. Such reminders must not promote a given referendum option or lead a voter to a campaign material (website, poster, etc). Committees may inform voters that ballot statements are available via the online voting system.
Please seek pre-approval prior to purchasing and distributing campaign materials. Please also make the Chief Electoral Officer aware of any websites used to campaign. Note that materials existing prior to the start of campaigning, not created specifically for use in this referendum are not considered to be campaign materials.
Committee members may sell goods and materials at cost or at a profit. Any revenue must not be used to increase a campaign budget. Monies earned should be reported to the CEO.
Committees are afforded $ 500, inclusive of taxes, for campaign materials. Committees will be required to submit expenses within five days of the opening of polls. Reimbursements will be made in line with LICM’s accounting practises. An advance of expense reimbursement can be made on request. All expenses must be reasonable, and reflect market value. Items provided to a committee, not equally available to the opposing committee, if applicable, will be considered as an expense. In such a case, the CEO will provide the committee with an expense value for the items in question.
Committees are welcome to solicit endorsements from a group or individual. These groups do not constitute part of a referendum committee unless they conduct campaigning on the expressed instructions of a referendum committee. A committee cannot make use of an endorser’s resources if they are not equally available to the opposing team; however, should an endorser undertake an action on its own accord, the committee will not be held responsible for such actions.
While Omnivox does not allow for a ballot statement per say, it does permit for a hyperlink to be added to each option. Should a committee wish to link their option to a campaign page, please provide the CEO with the link no later than 72 hours preceding the opening of polls.
The CEO will also, at a committee’s request, distribute a committee statement of no more than 750 words (inclusive of any translation provided), one link, and a one page image via a listserv email upon the opening of polls. To arrange this, please provide the CEO with the committee statement no later than 72 hours before the opening of polls.
Note that the aforementioned materials will be shared with the opposing referendum option committee at least 48 hours before the opening of polls.
Quorum & Results:
The CEO will contact voters using the McGill provided, opt-outable, listserv upon the opening of polls, as well as at times during voting. The link to omnivox is https://mcgill.omnivox.ca. To vote, LICM graduate student members can follow this link to a login page. After entering their McGill credentials, voters will be brought to a landing page. On the left side of the page, voters can select Surveys and Elections. This will then display the list of polls available to them. After clicking on the LICM poll, they will be presented with a question, voting options (Yes – No – Abstain). Should a Referendum Option Committee provide a statement, voters will also be able to click on a voting option to be brought to an external website run by the committee.
Quorum is set at five percent of the number of LICM graduate members. The CEO has no access to who has voted, or the results, until after the close of polls.
Results will be available immediately to voters and the CEO following polling by logging into the Omnivox system. Further, the CEO will contact any committee chairs with the results following the closing of polls.
Any interested party may submit an informal complaint at any time to the CEO. Such complaints should be made, whenever possible, in writing (email), and include the subject of the complaint, the reason justifying the complaint, any applicable rules which may be in question, and the complaining parties contact information. Complaints must be raised in a timely manner and before the contestation deadline. Normally, a complaint will first be discussed with the CEO, and, if not resolved at this stage, elevated to a contestation (formal complaint) in which the CEO requests a detailed formal statement from the involved party. Contestations are then investigated, followed by a formal written decision. Such decisions cannot be appealed internally.
Committee chairs may contact the CEO via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or, for urgent matters, via phone. Other committee members should, when possible, communicate with the CEO via their committee chairperson.