Election Week 2021 sees highest ever election turnout

Election Week 2021
Cardiff University Students' Union: this year's election had the highest voter turnout ever. Credit: Tehreem Sultan
Election Week 2021 draws to a close as new officers are elected and Cardiff University Students' Union sees its highest ever election turnout, with 9,111 votes cast over the week.

By Tirion Davies | Editor-in-Chief

Cardiff University Students’ Union this morning confirmed its new elected officers, following an online result’s ceremony. Seven Sabbatical Officer and ten Campaign Officer positions were available, and election voting was up significantly from last year’s results. This year’s election saw the highest election turnout in Cardiff Students’ Union Election history, surpassing the 2019 record number of 6,690 and reaching 9,111 voters over the week.

The elections operated on a preferential voting system; voters ranked candidates from most to least preferable. The quota for victory was 50% of the total number of votes cast in each round in each race. If the winning threshold is not reached in the first round, the candidate with the fewest number of votes is eliminated and any second preference votes are added to candidates’ totals. This continues until a candidate hits the 50% quota, after which they are duly elected to the position.

The most votes were cast in the race for Students’ Union President, with votes cast reaching 7,336 and securing Hannah Doe top spot with a 60% lead, beating her opponent Georgie East. 

The race for the Black and Ethnic Minorities Officer spot saw the second-highest voter turnout, with Ashly Alava Garcia gaining 6,827 of the 7,010 votes cast. Following the summer of protests surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement and continuous discussion about racial inequality, this position was seen to be one of the most important at this year’s election for many students.

This year’s VP Postgraduate was the most highly contested, with the race lasting 8 rounds before Orla Tarn was determined the winner, gaining 2,812 votes, placing Tilly Houldsworth into second place. 

Some incumbents remained after this year’s elections, with Sebastian Ripley continuing for another year as Vice President Heath Park Campus and Megan Dee retaining her position as the Students with Disabilities Officer. Lucas Jakabovic has also retained his position as LGBT+ Officer (Trans) for the 2021/22 academic year. 

VP Societies and Volunteering was the closest of the seven sabbatical races, taking 4 rounds to determine a winner, with 96 votes difference between Christopher Dunne and Chris Grieve, who eventually won. Megan Sommerville held off Will Moorey and Thomas Williams to become VP Sport with a resounding win. VP Education saw much debate this year, with voting tight up until the 6th round, which saw a win for Gina Dunn. VP Welfare and Campaigns was won by Charlotte Towlson. 

The official list of elected Students’ Union officers for 2021/22 are as follows: 

Students’ Union President – Hannah Doe

Vice President Welfare and Campaigns – Charlotte Towlson

Vice President Societies and Volunteering – Chris Grieve

Vice President Education – Gina Dunn

Vice President Sport – Megan Somerville

Vice President Postgraduate – Orla Tarn

Vice President Heath Park Campus – Sebastian Ripley

Ethical and Environment Officer – Punyaja Jani

International Students’ Officer – Ayana Sakai

LGBT+ Officer (Open) – Lola Brin

LGBT+ Officer (Trans) – Lucas Jakabovic

Welsh Language Officer – Annell Dyfri

Womens’ Officer – Bryony Danks

Mature Students’ Officer – Vee Somasundaram

Mental Health Officer – Rebecca Deverell

Students with Disabilities Officer – Megan Dee

Black and  Ethnic Minority Officer – Ashly Alava Garcia

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