Election Rules and Regulations

Elections Rules & Regulations






1. No coercion.

This means you cannot pressurise or force students to vote for you.  Standing over a student and watching them vote may be seen as coercion.  Candidates should not give electronic devices to voters to make them vote.


2. No bribery (financial or otherwise).

This means that you cannot pay students to vote for you or offer to do something for them in order to get them to vote for you.


3. No illegal discrimination.

Candidates should not do anything that could be discriminatory against protected characteristics (Gender, Race, Religion, Disability, Sexual Orientation).


4. All campaign materials should be approved in principle by the Deputy Returning Officer.

This does not mean every email and every Tweet, but posters and leaflets should be approved.


5. All current Aston University and Aston SU rules must be complied with.

  • Local rules apply. For example the Library will not allow any campaigning inside the Library. A breach of this local rule is a breach of the Election Rules.
  • Different schools will have different rules. Some may allow you to leave leaflets in their office. Others may not. If they allow 1 candidate to leave leaflets they must allow all candidates to do so. The university is not allowed to show preference to 1 candidate over another.


Any breaches of rules should be reported to the Deputy Returning Officer on union.returningofficer@aston.ac.uk .


What happens if the rules are broken?

Some examples:

  • The candidate could be asked to issue an apology and this could be placed on the SU website/social media.
  • A candidate could be disqualified from the election.
  • A candidate could be reported to the university and/or other authorities.



Clarifications to the Guiding Principles may be added throughout the election. DRO decsions and directions to candidates  will also be added as appropriate.

1. All Candidates should have equal and fair access to be able to communicate with students.

2. Current officers or students in a position within the union/university should not use that position to advantage themselves. This includes SU Course Reps using email lists/social media that they have as a rsult of being a Rep to contact voters.


2.1.1.  Candidates who have a position within the union/university should not use their control or access to union/university social media accounts that aren't accessible to all candidates. For example, if a candidate is a member a union club or society and that club or society has a social media account (using the name of the club or society) the administrator of the account should not promote a particular candidate. If any posts on such an account are made to support a particular candidate then all candidates for the position must be allowed access the account to post promoting themselves. The DRO recommends not promoting particular candidates on such accounts.

2.1.2. Union clubs and societies should not endorse or support a particular candidate. Individual members of a particular club or society can state using their personal social media for example, "I am the Secretary of Aston Coffee Drinkers Society and I say vote for Candidate X" but the society should not say "Aston Coffee Drinkers Society supports Candidate X and vote for Candidate X ..." Candidates who received this kind of endorsement should ask that it is taken down and the DRO should be informed.

3. Candidates should not canvas or seek the support of Aston University or union staff.

4. There will be equal support offered to all candidates.

5. Candidates must be open and honest in their campaigning

6. All students should be given a free and fair choice at the point of voting.

7. Voters should not be harassed or given direct instruction on how to vote at the point they are making their vote

8. Campaigning should be done by students at Aston to students at Aston.

9. Negative campaigning should be avoided. This is focussing on bad things or perceived bad things about other candidates. Campaigning should be based on what you will bring to the role.

10. Candidates should not ask for the support of SU staff.

11. Ignorance will not normally be considered a defence

12. Teams/slates are permitted.The DRO should be informed when a slate/team exists. If the DRO is not informed that a group of candidates are standing on a slate/team the DRO will look to the facts and the reality of the situation to decide whether candidates are standing as part of a slate/team.