The results of the election of student representatives for the administration of the University of Helsinki had to be annulled because the entire electorate did not have the chance to cast a vote. The register of the persons eligible to vote was lacking students who are employed by the University of Helsinki during the elections. The Student Union will hold new elections 15–16 December 2015 in the following administrative organs: Faculty of Theology (faculty council and the university collegium), Faculty of Arts (faculty council, the university collegium and the department council of the Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Arts) and the Faculty of Social Sciences (faculty council).
The Student Union’s Central Election Committee found in their meeting 4 Nov 2015 that the results of the administration elections 3–4 Nov must be annulled in order secure students’ legal protection and the democratic legitimacy of the election. The committee came to the conclusion that not all students who would have been eligible had had the chance to vote. The error has been in a deficient electoral register that the Student Union has received from the University of Helsinki.
– On behalf of the entire Student Union, I apologise for this severe error and its consequences. The elections have been wonderfully visible on our campuses, and candidates have campaigned very actively. I hope that the work the candidates in the Faculty of Theology, Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Social Sciences will not have been in vain, and that voters will continue to be active also in the new elections, says Anu Aarnio, Chair of the Student Union and the Central Election Committee.
The annulment concerns the votes and results in the elections for the new student representatives in the Faculty of Theology (faculty council and the university collegium), Faculty of Arts (faculty council and the university collegium and the department council of the Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Arts) and the Faculty of Social Sciences (faculty council). A new election will be held for all these units 15-16 December 2015. The nomination of the candidates for the new elections will begin 16 Nov and end 25 Nov. The new announcement on the elections will be public 11 Nov. Instructions for nominating candidates will be posted soon at http://hyy.helsinki.fi/en/university-and-society/influencing-university/....
The Central Election Committee has found in its meeting 4 Nov that the error in the electoral register has not affected the election of student representatives in the administrative organs which did not require voting because there were fewer candidates than positions available. The committee decided not to annul these elections because it would have undermined the legal protection of the already elected candidates. The committee has confirmed their positions in its meeting 27 Nov 2015. The elections will be renewed only in the six units in which there were more candidates than positions available.
Why the results had to be annulled
In its meeting 4 Nov, the Central Election Committee could not be certain that the entire electorate has been able to vote.
There have been students, who are employed by the University of Helsinki, who have not been listed in the electoral register of the elections. This means that there may be persons who have not had the chance to vote even though they have been eligible voters.
The elections of the student representatives for the university administration are tied to the electoral guidelines of the University of Helsinki. The guidelines determine whether a member of the electorate will be defined as a student or an employee of the university in the elections. Employees and staff members of the university are not allowed to vote in the elections for student representatives. According to the electoral guideline of the university, students who are permanently employed by the university and students who have been employed in fixed-term contracts of six months or more to work for 50 per cent or more of full-time workload, have to be counted as employees of the university, not as students.
The Student Union had received the list of persons eligible to run as candidate and to vote from the Student Register office of the University of Helsinki. The list that the university had delivered to the Student Union was found by the Central Election Committee to be crucially insufficient and lacking students who have been employed by the university. In other words, the electoral register had not been compiled according to the electoral guidelines of the university and the Student Union due to the fact that all kinds of current working relations to the university had denied students the right to vote in the administration elections.
The Central Election Committee estimated in its meeting that approximately 400 students had crucial issues regarding their eligibility to run as candidate and to vote. During the elections, the Student Union received a few individual messages from students who had noticed they had not been able to vote in the online voting system. When the Student Union looked into these problems, they found out that the electoral register the Student Union had received was deficient. The matter was immediately brought to the attention and consideration of the Central Election Committee.
The new elections will be held 15–16 December 2015
According to the decision made by the Central Election Committee, the Student Union will organise new online elections 15–16 December 2015.
All students who are eligible to vote will personally receive instructions about voting to the email address they have given to the university while registering for the academic year 2015–16.
The nomination of the candidates for the new elections will begin 16 Nov and end 25 Nov. The new announcement on the elections will be public 11 Nov. Instructions for nominating candidates will be posted soon at http://hyy.helsinki.fi/en/university-and-society/influencing-university/....
Jannica Aalto, Secretary General of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki
tel. +358 40 0816 426
Anu Aarnio, Chair of the Student Union and Chair of the Central Election Committee
tel. +358 50 303 7627