Success story

Higher School of Economics

The Higher School of Economics is a leader in Russian education and one of the foremost economics and social science universities in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. The HSE has four campuses, 7,000 teachers and researchers, and over 30,000 students.


Election of Student Councils for faculties, dormitories, and foreign student associations, as well as the appointment of a new ombudsman.

The elections consisted of two rounds, each lasting six days. The election commission created approximately 1,000 votes in the Polys system, with a total of 328 candidates and 30,000 voters.

This was the second election at HSE using the Polys platform. A pilot project in 2017 saw 25,000 people participate in voting.


Online election with Polys

In 2015-2016, the HSE conducted similar elections offline, with traditional paper ballots. It was clear that busy student schedules meant not everyone could get to a polling station during election time. Switching the elections to an online format via Polys allowed every student to participate in the voting, regardless of their schedule or the location of polling stations. As a result, turnout increased from 15% to 22%.

There were also changes to how the election commission prepared the elections – instead of the time-consuming paperwork that used to accompany these elections, the organizers could spend more time distributing information about the elections to students. The results were also calculated automatically, which also saved the electoral commission from having to manually count the ballots.


Elections held
People voted
Overall turnout


Dmitry Efimov,
Head of the Education Quality Committee of the Student Council of the Higher School of Economics.

Polys is a system that allows you to organize online elections quickly and safely while saving voters the hassle of going to a polling station. The main reasons for using Polys for a second year in a row were that it saves time and resources (for both the organizers and voters) and it’s open and transparent.

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