The Leadership Elections 2018

DRO Update

DRO update 09/03/18

Dear Candidates,

Just a brief one from the DRO’s today.

There has been a number of complaints received this morning. Despite it being the last few hours of voting and campaigning, it is imperative the rules are adhered to.

If a complaint of a rule break is upheld we will impose the following sanctions on your campaign

  • Immediately ask you to desist from campaigning, including taking down all of your posters. Failure to do so will be considered a further breach of rules and may lead to disqualification.
  • Please be aware that you can still get disqualified even after voting closes, if we uphold complaint against you and so your behaviour today will be taken into account.

Please continue to follow the rules. The dead line for complaints is 14:00 and will only be accepted from the official complaints form

DRO update 8/03/18

Dear Candidate,

We are emailing some information to all candidates for the remaining day of voting.

As of this morning, seven candidates have been disqualified from the Leadership Elections 2018. This disqualification, recommended by the Returning Officer and approved by the Governance subcommittee of Imperial College Union’s Board of Trustees, is in response to persistent breaking of rules and acting against Imperial College Union’s values despite warnings from the Deputy Returning Officers. Some of these candidates were not just persistent in breaking rules, but severely broke the rules that the Deputy Returning Officers had no choice but to recommend disqualification. These decisions to disqualify candidates are not taken lightly and have to follow due process.

The rules that these candidates broke included

  • E9, coercion of voters
  • E15, use of pre-existing mailing lists or group chats5
  • SM2, unsolicited electronic communication
  • C2, campaigning in languages other than English without a translation being available

Other breaches of student conduct guidelines including the use of discriminatory language have also been taken into account in some cases.

There are a number of other candidates who have received warnings from the DRO’s during the election period. These candidates may also be disqualified if further complaints are upheld against them. We have only communicated directly with the candidates who have received warnings and not communicated these warnings out to all candidates. Candidates who have not received a warning, may still be disqualified and other sanctions imposed if a we uphold a severe complaint in their conduct during the election period.

There is just over a day left in campaigning, please campaign within the rules for the rest of the elections. To remind yourself of the rules, please go here

If you have any questions, please email

DRO Update 16/02/18

As Deputy Returning Officer of the Leadership Elections 2018, it is my responsibility to inform you of an issue that we have identified and resolved relating to the elections.

On Wednesday, we discovered a flaw in the system we use to collect our manifestos. A discontinued set of manifesto display pages, retired in 2016, had been accidentally reactivated due to an incorrect setting in the eVoting database. This led to a short period of time that candidates’ manifestos and information were indirectly accessible online via these pages.

Analysis of access logs shows that a small number of people attempted to view information for a small number of positions, some of them successfully. These pages have now been removed and manifestos are once again hidden until the release date.

Democracy is one of our values and the integrity of our electoral processes is of the highest importance to us. The elections team immediately discussed the issue and investigated the extent of the inadvertent exposure of information, to assess the impact on the security of the elections.

We have assessed that while this exposure was an error on the part of Imperial College Union, it does not compromise the integrity or security of the elections to any significant extent, for the following reasons:

  • Due to the time the issue took place during the nomination process, the majority of candidates have not yet nominated themselves and less than 10% of candidates had begun to upload their manifestos.
  • The error also affected all existing candidates equally
  • Voting has not yet opened, meaning the secrecy of the ballot has not been compromised

The Deputy Returning Officers have made the decision for the election to proceed without interruption. We took the view that there were two options, either carry on the elections as normal or cancel the elections and restart them. We decided that if we cancelled the elections we would cause more disruption to candidates without undoing any of the consequences of the error, rendering it a disproportionate and unproductive response. Therefore we agreed to proceed with the elections.

We understand that this situation is not ideal and Imperial College Union takes full responsibility for this. We want to assure candidates that it has been rectified and we are currently auditing the system to ensure no other flaws can be found. We want to move forward with these elections and ensure that they work for all candidates.

If you have any concerns about the above, please don’t hesitate to contact