Online elections 2020

Dear university members,

the Corona crisis effects all areas of the university, including the electoral process. In order to ensure the holding of the committee elections and thus the functioning of the committees after June 30, 2020, the „big“ elections will also be held online for the first time.

You will have noticed that students already voted online in the past year. We can use the experience from the first procedure, but there are differences between the voting procedure for the students and the other member groups, for example in the identification of the voters. This raises many questions for all involved, which we will try to answer below. The list will be supplemented as required, please feel free to contact gremienwahlen@uv.uni-kiel.de with your questions at any time.

 

Why do we vote online?

An online election for the entire university was actually not planned until 2022, as we do not yet have a comprehensive identity management system. This year, employees of Kiel University should therefore once again use the familiar method of postal voting. However, the special conditions in the Corona crisis make it seem advisable to vote online already this year. Currently nobody can predict the development at the moment, and we do not know whether the necessary staff will still be available in a few weeks and whether it will be allowed to use election assistants. An electronic procedure is more reliable in this situation. In addition, we have noticed that the willingness to use online solutions has increased considerably in all areas of the university. We want to build on this and appeal to all employees to use the new procedure. However, a postal vote can be requested.

Couldn´t the elections had been postponed?

A postponement of the elections was discussed. However, there is currently no legal basis for postponing the elections, as the legislature has not yet made any transitional arrangements for the current bodies and decision-makers in the case that there are no new elections at the end of the current legislative period. This would mean that after June30,  2020, the Senate and Conventions would no longer be occupied and the deans and vice-deans would no longer be in office and would therefore no longer have any decision-making authority.

 

In addition, at the beginning of April 2020 we cannot estimate how the situation in the Corona crisis will develop, whether the staff will still be able to work on the preparation and implementation in the coming weeks and whether the employees will be on site again during the election period.

Does online voting really have advantages?

The experience of the first online election in 2019 has confirmed the expectations regarding the benefits:

  • You can cast your votes online over a period of two weeks (June 4 to June 17, 2020) wherever you are - at home, at university, during an internship, abroad...
  • Lost electoral documents are a thing of the past as a result of the electronic procedure. You will receive personal access to the voting portal and can cancel your voting process at any time and resume it at a later date.
  • The online process saves a lot of paper and is therefore very environmentally friendly. Printing and postage costs are also eliminated.
  • Votes are counted quickly and safely. The personnel effort is also much lower, and no one is obliged to help with the voting.

Is online voting safe?

The technical implementation of the online elections is in the hands of the Polyas company. Kiel University chose Polyas as this company offers the most secure system in Germany and has the most extensive experience in this area. For example, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has been using Polyas to elect its committees, most recently the review boards in autumn 2019.

 

Polyas' security standards are certified by the Federal Office for Information Security, among others. The following conditions are met by the POLYAS CORE 2.2.3 voting system:

  • It must not be possible to draw any conclusions about the identity of the voter from the votes cast.
  • It must not be possible for the voter to prove his election decision to third parties.
  • Voters must be clearly and reliably identified and authenticated for voting, so that only registered persons can vote from the electoral roll.
  • Voters may only cast one vote at a time.
  • Votes may not be changed, deleted or added during the transmission in the network.

Votes in the ballot box may not be subsequently altered, deleted or supplemented.

How does online voting work for students?

Participation in the online election is possible via the election portal, where you can register with your usual access data (stu ...). The system shows you whether the voting portal is open, still open or already closed and whether you are authorized to vote.

 

A vote can only be cast in the period

From Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 12 p.m. until Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 5 p.m.

 

Once you have logged in, the candidates of all committees for which you are eligible to vote will be displayed in the following order:

 

  1. if applicable, nomination of the Foreigners' Representative (this only applies to foreign students)
  2. Election to the student parliament (student self-administration)
  3. Election to the senate (academic self-administration, university committee) *
  4. Election to the student representative body (student self-administration)
  5. Election to the Convention (academic self-government, university body) *

 

You have exactly one vote for each committee.

 

At the end of the (rather long) list there is a button with which you can check your vote. The system draws your attention to errors, which you can then correct.

 

You can cancel the election process at any time and start again later. The vote is not cast until you click on the "Send" button.

How does online voting work for employees?

You are familiar with the two-stage procedure of postal voting: You sign a ballot paper containing your name and voter number to confirm your identity. Then enclose a sealed envelope with your ballot paper. It is therefore not possible to track who voted and what votes were cast during the vote count.

 

The online procedure is similar to this process. You identify yourself as a person, then the system checks whether you are included in the list of eligible voters and clears the way for voting. Everything else is done anonymously. The system converts your data into an incomprehensible, arbitrary sequence of numbers. Only then you will be able to cast your vote. The sequence of numbers will be blocked for further use immediately after your vote. A connection between the person and the vote cannot be established at any time. More detailed information on this procedure can be found on the website of the supplier, the company Polyas.

 

The vote itself takes place via an election portal that is only activated during the voting period. A vote can only be cast in the period

 

From Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 12 p.m.
until Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 5 p.m.

 

Once you have logged in, the candidates of all committees for which you are eligible to vote will be displayed in the following order:

 

  1. The Senate
  2. If applicable, the convention of your faculty

 

You have exactly one vote for each committee.

 

At the end of the (rather long) list there is a button with which you can check your vote. The system draws your attention to errors, which you can then correct.

 

You can cancel the election process at any time and start again later. The vote is not cast until you click on the "Send" button.

How do the employees identify in the election?

With the previous postal voting procedure, you received a personal ballot paper on which your data including the voter number was already entered. With your signature, you then confirmed your identity as a voter, so that your ballot envelope could be placed in the ballot box. A two-stage identification is also required in the electronic procedure.

 

This requires a feature,

 

- that is unique and clearly defined,

- that each person possesses only once,

- that nobody else owns,

- that is known to the voting person,

- and which can be represented in a sequence of numbers or letters.

 

For students, this is the stumail-identifier.

 

In the case of employees, this will be the personnel number in this procedure, as only this number fulfils all criteria. Your personnel number is the number that you know from your correspondence with the Personnel Service Centre and that appears at the top of your payroll and on your account statement.

 

Muster Kontoauszug or Muster Gehaltsabrechnung

When logging into the voting portal, please use the number WITHOUT leading zeros!

 

This number is used exclusively for identification during the voting process. It is not linked to your personal data or to that of the Personnel Service Centre.

Are there separate election procedures for student and university committees?

No, all committees are elected in one procedure and on an electronic ballot. The ballot is structured as following:

 

  • (only for foreign students:) Nomination of an AStA-representative for foreign students
  • Student Parliament
  • Senate
  • Student Parliament
  • Convention

 

All information on the Kiel University election procedure can be found at www.uni-kiel.de/gremienwahlen.

 

All information on the student body elections can be found at https://studiwahlen.asta-kiel.de/de_de/.

May I also vote by postal vote?

Yes, a postal vote is possible. Please fill in the form and submit it to the electoral office. Applications for the elections to the university bodies (Senate and Conventions) and for the student elections (StuPa and student councils) must be submitted by Wednesday, June 2, 2020.

 

When you apply for postal voting documents, you will be deleted from the electronic voter register.

Is there a voting PC?

Electronic voting is possible from any PC, laptop, mobile phone and other devices. Those who cannot or do not want to use these have the option of casting their votes at a PC in the electoral office (Cellar Audimax).

 

Office hours of the elective office are generally Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The opening hours are displayed at the electoral office.

Who has decided on the conduct of online elections?

The introduction of online elections was prepared by a working group, which since 2017 has included experienced members of the election committee, representatives of the computer centre, the data protection officers, representatives of both staff councils, representatives of the senate and other participants. Due to the positive recommendations of this working group, the election regulations for the university committees and the committees of the constitutional student body were adapted to the requirements of online elections in 2018 and 2019, and approved by the Senate and the Student Parliament.

 

The committee election regulations provide for both online elections and conventional postal votes. Each year, the election officer decides on the form of election for the university committees.