Learn about the Election Process for Regulatory Colleges

Council Election Process in Regulatory Colleges

Every regulatory college must elect a council or board. Organizing and managing elections is something every college has to get used to. The good news is that there are very few regulations in North America regarding how regulatory colleges can conduct their elections. You can do conduct them off or online, and where and when it happens is at your discretion.

That being said, planning an election can be quite a complicated affair. It’s not a simple matter of printing out a few ballots and sending out some letters. In order to make your election both legally valid and successful, you need to have a clear idea of what the election process looks like. 

The Council

While there are numerous elections your college may conduct during a year, the most important one is for your council. The council runs the college and determines the direction it is heading. It consists of both public members, who are unelected and appointed by a minister, and elected officials. The length of terms depend on the college, but three years is the average.

Depending on the college, the council may also be known as the board of directors. However, for the purposes of this page the term ‘council’ will be used.

Learn more about college councils and how they function here. 

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The Election Process

  1. Determine what positions are open for election
    Colleges hold their elections in different manners. In Ontario, for example, members who run for the board represent a district, and only members from that district may vote for them. However, only some districts may have available positions depending on the year. Though it may seem obvious, the first step is to make clear which position is up for election. Maybe all positions on the council are open, or maybe only a few.
  2. Deciding who is eligible to vote and nominate themselves
    Now that you know which positions are open, you need to figure out who is eligible to become a candidate and who is eligible to vote. The easiest way to do this is to keep an up to date electoral roll with all your members’ contact details. You must always ensure that the roll is up to date, which means ensuring that new members are included and former members have been removed. Also, ensure that all members on the roll are in good standing with the college – most colleges have bylaws that would prohibit someone who owes money from running, for example. Some colleges may also require that nominees are endorsed by a certain number of their peers.
  3. Announce the election and open the nominations
    Your election date should be known well in advance. However, not all of your members may not all be aware of the date. Inform your members of the important dates related to your election. POLYAS recommends doing this at least one month in advance of the date nominations are set to open.
  4. Set up your election
    Once you have all the nominees, commence with setting up the election. Depending on your method, this may include creating your ballots, preparing voter credentials, and selecting a voting method.
  5. The election begins
    Your election is underway, and members can cast their votes. If voting online, POLYAS recommends sending out reminder emails throughout the election informing members that they should take part.
  6. The election ends
    Now comes time to count the votes. If doing so manually, you may want to have them counted twice to ensure that everything is accurate. Once the results have been tallied, you can announce the winners to your members. 

Still want more information on the election process? Download our election checklist for free. 

As you can see, organizing an election is not an easy task. Why not let POLYAS handle it for you? Click here to contact our election experts and make planning your next election stress-free.

Advantages of Online Voting

With so many steps involved in a regulatory college election, taking the process online could save you a lot of time and money. Rather than print off hundreds of ballot papers, you can create one with just a few clicks. Also, with members being able to vote using any electronic device from around the world, watch as your voter turnout increases exponentially.

With so many elections to plan with such regularity, there is no reason to make the process more difficult than it needs to be. Organize your next online election with POLYAS.