The University of Manchester runs multiple elections throughout the academic year for various positions, including elections to the Senate, elections to the General Assembly and elections to the Board of Governors, to name but a few.
Before Mi-Voice’s involvement, these elections were set up and administered by University staff, who managed the nominations phase and were responsible for designing and distributing ballot material before declaring the result.
There was no central resource for managing these processes, with departments responsible for their elections. As a result, the administrative impact of the different ballots varied based on the election but was potentially significant, especially as electoral management was not a ‘core’ activity of the Governance Team. In addition, as there was no central approach, there was potential for inconsistencies in the set-up and management of these elections across the University.
A trusted relationship that has grown over time
Mi-Voice’s involvement with the University has grown since we started working with them in 2010. Initially, the Governance Team licensed our e-voting platform, which set up and ran their ballots.
There were several benefits to the University in utilising our platform.
- The rapid set-up of ballots
- Eliminating the need for postal balloting – reducing administration, print and postal costs
- Implementing a secure voting process that ensured individuals could only vote once
- Real-time reporting on turnout
- A consistent “look and feel” to balloting across the Governance Team’s elections
- Support for both voting members and Governance Staff
Over the last ten years, the relationship between Mi-Voice and the University has evolved, building on the reliability, stability and support afforded through the Mi-Voice voting platform and support team.
Nominations for everyone!
In 2020 the University began to use our online nomination service, where candidates could put themselves forward to stand for election by submitting their application online. This has made it simpler and more convenient for candidates to apply, whilst eliminating errors in submissions. This, in turn, has reduced the administrative burden on staff whilst ensuring a centralised, online repository for all nominations received.
It’s also about communication
In 2021, the University expanded its contract with Mi-Voice further, appointing Mi-Voice to distribute email communications to eligible voters, notifying them that voting was open and distributing reminder emails to any individuals who had not voted partway through balloting.
Mi-Voice’s approach to voting communications ensures a consistent approach across the University’s faculties, making it as simple as possible for individuals to vote
What they say
“We have an excellent working relationship with the team at Mi-Voice. They are consistently supportive and provide an easy to use product and efficient service.
Their knowledgeable team always provide a speedy response to any queries from ourselves or the electorate. Mi-voice have guided us through a range of services, including the use of different voting methods, as we have expanded our use of the services from the e-voting platform, to include the nominations service and then email distribution. We would highly recommend them.”
Sally Ainsworth, Governance Manager, The University of Manchester