Elections and referenda for student societies, academic societies, course unions, or departmental student associations.
Simply Voting is the online student election/referenda system for student societies at the University of Toronto.
Once the Agreement form has been filled out, Chief Returning Officers (CROs) are invited to attend a CRO Information Session where they will receive an overview of Simply Voting, learn about best practices for holding an election on campus, and think about increasing democratic engagement.
These interactive sessions are designed to ensure that CROs get hands on experience with the system and can ask questions they need to proceed in creating their own election.
Training is for elected/nominated Chief Returning Officers (CROs).
CROs are invited to attend an information session once registered.
Fall training dates
- Thursday, August 24 from 3:30 – 4 a.m.
- Friday, September 1 from 1:30 – 2 p.m.
- Thursday, September 7 from 11 – 11:30 a.m.
- Wednesday, September 13 from 10:30 – 11 a.m.
- Monday, September 18 from 11 – 11:30 a.m.
- Tuesday, October 3 from 10 – 10:30 a.m.
- Wednesday, October 11 from 2 – 2:30 p.m.
- Monday, October 16 from 11 – 11:30 a.m.
Please select one of the above training dates on the Agreement form. All training sessions are online via Microsoft Teams. If you cannot make one of the dates, please specify that on your form and an individual training session will be scheduled.
The election or referenda is delivered online through Simply Voting.
Booking & Documentation
Steps for a CRO to register their election or referenda on Simply Voting:
STEP 1: Complete the Agreement form and training
Fill out the Voting System Agreement Form and make an appointment for training at least two-three weeks in advance of your election or referenda.
The CRO will be required to sign the Agreement before being assigned the role of student leader on Simply Voting.
STEP 2: Set up your referendum or election on Simply Voting
Login to Simply Voting using your UTORid and password to set up your referendum or election.
STEP 3: Check your referendum or election set up
Ensure that all your general information for your referendum or election on Simply Voting is correct:
- Election Name,
- Start Date,
- Start Time,
- End Date,
- End Time,
STEP 4: Add ballot and candidate information
- Allow Voters to Abstain,
- Random Order,
- Candidate Name and Statement.
We recommend that you check both Allow Voters to Abstain and Randomize Candidates. Allow Voters to Abstain provides the voter with the option to “protest” where no candidate seems suitable. Random Order changes the order of the candidates on a ballot for each voter. Randomizing order decreases the likelihood that a disproportionate weight will be given to the first (e.g. primacy effect) or last (e.g. recency effect) candidates on a list.
STEP 5: Proof your ballot
A ballot must be proofed before it is officially complete. You must submit a “trial” vote on the ballot that you just created. This ballot does not count towards the actual election, it simply finalizes the ballot. Your referendum or election will become available to voters at the Start Time you chose. No changes can be made to the referendum or election once it is in progress.
Note that the Simply Voting system does not notify members of your group about your election or referendum. The CRO is responsible for providing the link https://utoronto.simplyvoting.com/ to group members.
STEP 6: Stop your referendum or election only if absolutely necessary
The CRO has the option to stop the election once it is underway, but this is NOT recommended – halting an election once it has begun places the integrity of the election at risk. The responsibility for administration belongs to the appointed CRO. The Office of Student Life will not stop or interfere with elections or referenda.
STEP 7: View results of your referendum or election
Results will be available to the CRO for three (3) weeks after the elections or referenda are completed. The CRO should download results and report back to their executive as necessary. If assistance is required, the Office of Student Life will only submit results to the CRO.
STEP 8: In the case of grievance
The CRO is responsible to uphold the group’s grievance procedures based on the group constitution and/or by-laws. The Office of Student Life does not address complaints resulting from the use of Simply Voting. All grievances must be submitted directly to the group’s CRO.
Privacy & Policies
Considerations & Exceptions
Note that the system does not currently allow for preferential or ranked voting methods.