Please continue to submit questions so that we can build this FAQ!

SSMU elections are your opportunity to have a say in the future of our student government! We’re here to make sure elections are run smoothly and in accordance with all SSMU regulations. We’re happy to help you out, however we can.

How Do I Run For A Position?

The process of running for an elected position varies slightly from role to role; however, you will generally follow these steps:

  1. Fill out the nomination kit provided for the position (usually posted on the Elections SSMU Facebook page, or the main page of our website);
  2. Collect the appropriate number of signatures to run for the position;
  3. Submit the kit and signatures in person or via email to Elections SSMU, along with a personal pensketch (about 100 words describing why people should vote for you), before the end of the nomination period;
  4. Attend the candidates meeting;
  5. Begin campaigning once the campaign period has officially started.

How do I nominate a referendum question?

Referendum questions can be proposed for inclusion on the ballot in two different ways:

  1. By being submitted and accepted as a resolution by the SSMU Legislative Council.
  2. By submitting a referendum nomination kit and obtaining the signatures of one-hundred SSMU members, of which no more than 30% can be from the same faculty.

After referendum questions are submitted, SSMU members can also initiate campaigns against a referendum question by submitting a “No” campaign nomination form and collecting signatures from twenty-five SSMU members.

Additionally, the SSMU Legislative Council can propose a special referendum period by way of a two-thirds majority vote. In these periods, SSMU members may vote on one or more important questions outside of the usual fall and winter referendum periods.

How do I vote?

Elections SSMU uses a system called Simply Voting.

It’s a web-based voting platform that was developed by Brian Lack – a McGill alumnus and a previous CEO at Elections SSMU!

You should receive an email with a direct link to your ballot when polls open. If you haven’t received an email, please contact

You can also go to directly to the SSMU Simply Voting page and log in using your McGill email and password. If your login is successful, you will be shown a menu listing all the current ballots in which you are eligible to vote. You can also see all the previous ballots that you were eligible to vote on and how you voted in those ballots.

How are student Senator seats distributed?

In the McGill Senate, there are 13 seats for students. Two of those are reserved for the SSMU President and Vice-President (University Affairs). The remaining 11 positions are allocated to different faculties and are elected by members of the faculty they represent. Here’s the breakdown for the 11 seats:

Arts (two seats), Science, Medicine, Engineering, Education, Law, Management, Arts & Sciences, Nursing, and Music.

However, occasionally, at the end of the regular nomination period, some seats have no candidate. These seats are then given to other faculties. As a result of a by-law change, these seats will first be given to a few interfaculty/faculty programs that are not listed above, such as the School of Physical/Occupational Therapy (PTOT), School of Nursing, and School of Social Work (and in the order of the most to the least student enrolment). If there are seats remaining after that, those seats will be distributed to the faculties listed above.

What’s the difference between regular and extended nomination periods?

For positions that only have one or no candidates, the extended nomination period will apply, which lasts for around an additional 48 hours. The point of the extended nomination period is to ensure that there are more candidates per position. The requirements for the candidates will remain the same, as they will also have to collect the appropriate amount of signatures and hand in the forms on time.

How are sanctions decisions handled by Elections SSMU?

When Elections SSMU receives a formal complaint against a candidate or becomes aware of significant campaign infractions, the Elections SSMU CEO may choose to open an investigation into the matter. The investigation involves interviewing the candidate concerned and the complainant as well as gathering information from potential witnesses or available information from social media and other sources. Upon full consideration of the evidence and the elections by-laws, and consulting with the DEO, the CEO may decide to take action; this may include  issuing a censure or even convening the Electoral Review Committee to discuss a candidate’s disqualification.

What constitutes a campaign violation?

SSMU Elections are governed by an extensive set of rules, outlined in the SSMU Internal Regulations of Elections and Referenda, the Constitution, and other governance documents such as the SSMU Equity Policy – most of which can be found here.

Generally speaking, the rules and regulations demand that candidates conduct themselves with respect for each other and their peers, as well as in the spirit of a fair campaign, according to which all candidates should be on a level playing field throughout the duration of the election period.

If you are unsure about a candidate’s actions, and believe they may have violated campaign rules, we strongly encourage you to reach out to us at! We truly appreciate any effort to ensure fair and proper campaigns.