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Conduct of ballots

(Approved by the Board of Trustees on 7 February 2011)

1.  These Regulations have been approved by the Board of Trustees in accordance with the Royal Charter and Bye-laws.  They apply to ballots for the election of Trustees and to ballots for the election of members of IET Boards and Committees.

2. Ballots should be conducted in an independent and impartial manner.  Ballots will usually be conducted by a reputable third party such as Electoral Reform Services.  If circumstances allow, ballots may be conducted by IET staff or by volunteers duly elected as scrutineers.

3. Ballots should be conducted using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) method.

4. All members who are entitled to vote shall vote by indicating the figure 1 in the box next to the candidate they most wish to be elected, then the figure 2 next to their second most preferred candidate and the figure 3 next to their third preference.  They may stop where they please or continue to indicate their order of preference for all candidates.

5. The return date for ballot papers shall be not less that 28 days after their issue. The Board of Trustees shall take such steps as it considers expedient to ensure the secrecy and validity of the ballot.

6. The following method of counting the votes shall be adopted.

7. In each election, the scrutineers shall:

(a)(i) Count the number of ballot papers received.

          (ii) Sort the ballot papers into heaps according to the first preferences recorded for each candidate.

          (iii) Reject any papers that are invalidly marked.

(b) Count the number of valid papers in each heap, credit each candidate with the number of votes equal to the number of first preferences they have received, and then ascertain the total number of valid papers. This shall constitute the first count.

(c) Divide the total number of valid papers by the number of vacancies plus one and (disregarding any fraction) add one to the result. The figure so obtained, termed the ‘quota’, shall be the number of votes sufficient to secure the election of a candidate.

(d) If at the end of the first count the number of votes credited to any candidate is equal to or greater than the quota, thereupon declare that candidate elected.

(e) If at the end of the first count any candidate is credited with more votes than the quota, transfer the surplus to the continuing candidates for whom the next available preferences have been recorded on the ballot papers of the elected candidate. For this purpose, all the papers of the successful candidate shall be examined on the assumption that all their votes are to be transferred. But the number actually transferred shall be distributed to each of the next available preferences in the ratio of the successful candidate’s surplus to the total of transferable first preferences, and the papers not so transferred retained as the quota of the elected candidate.

(f) If more than one candidate has a surplus of votes, transfer each surplus in the order of its magnitude, beginning with the largest.

(g) If after the transfer of the surpluses of all successful candidates there remain vacancies still to be filled, declare defeated the candidate then lowest on the poll and transfer the votes to the unelected candidates for whom the next available preferences have been recorded on the ballot papers of the defeated candidate, setting aside, in a separate parcel, as non-transferable any such papers on which no further preference has been marked.

(h) Continue to declare defeated and transfer in the same way the votes of the candidates becoming in succession the lowest on the poll until at the end of any count the number of elected candidates is equal to the number of vacancies to be filled, when no further transfer of votes shall be made.

8. The scrutineers shall prepare a list of the names of the successful candidates in alphabetical order, and this list shall be published as the result of the ballot.