Between the Motions: Election results certified, code changes pass

Last night, Councillors heard a recap of the 2024 General Election, which saw the third-highest voter turnout in AMS history.

Here’s what you may have missed.

Elections results certified

In a presentation to Council, AMS Elections Administrator Max Holmes outlined general statistics from the election, what the Elections Committee thought went well with this year’s elections and what could be improved.

This year, AMS Elections garnered 21.1 per cent voter turnout, surpassing the 20 per cent goal. This is lower than last year’s 25 per cent goal, but Holmes said this was because it was a “boring” election.

This election saw the most students to ever vote in a presidential election, said Holmes.

Holmes also presented the preliminary results for faculty turnout. This year, the Law Student Society and Engineering Undergraduate Society had the highest turnout compared to last year when the the Arts Undergraduate Society and Science Undergraduate Society had the highest voter turnout.

Similarly to previous years, Graduate Student Society turnout remained low at 15.79 per cent this year, almost a 1 per cent decrease from last year’s turnout.

Holmes said elections incentives largely delivered in increasing voter turnout. This included the snack booths, email blasts and a raffle which offered $500 tuition credits for three voters. Holmes said this year's extended voting period brought approximately five per cent of the overall voting turnout.

In terms of improvement, Holmes said there were "really not many important referendums on the ballot ... making it probably the second most boring ballot I've seen in my time."

Holmes also highlighted the large number of lawn signs and posters that were removed this year. He said this is not only a financial issue because the signs are expensive, but also a general difficulty for candidates who alleged their posters were being intentionally taken down.

Holmes said the Elections Committee is exploring banning candidate lawn signs to solve this issue next year. Instead of having candidates on lawn signs, AMS Elections will have general promotional lawn signs which will not likely be targeted the same way candidate-specific signs are.

Councillor and VP External-elect Ayesha Irfan raised concerns about banning lawn signs. With her experience running for elections, she said that these signs are some of the most visible ways students can identify potential candidates on the ballot.

Holmes said “proactive campaigning is 10 times more effective” than putting up a lawn sign, and that the Elections Committee wants to encourage more “active” methods for candidates to engage with their constituency.

The presentation also means this year's election results are official.

Resource group code change pass

After the presentation, Councillors also approved several code changes.

The first is a resource group communications bylaw change. This motion clarifies the AMS’s position regarding resource groups, like the Social Justice Centre, Pride Collective and Disabilities United Collective, and their views.

Code previously stated "Any correspondence by a Student Resource Group on official letterhead of the Society shall indicate that its views do not necessarily reflect the policies of the Society."

It has now been changed to "any public statements," do not reflect the views of the AMS and now includes "statements on social media."

Other code changes included an amendment to better facilitate the participation of people with disabilities in Council and to start an ombudsperson review to clarify the process of reviewing the Ombudsperson activities, which involve a review of their work three times a year.

The fourth code change involved fee indexing AMS fees with the current consumer price index. The fifth code change proposed an endowment management policy since the AMS has never had a policy to manage its endowment before.

Every code change passed.