Presentation on theme: "Polling station staff training session Local government elections in England and the referendum on the voting system for UK Parliamentary elections – 5."— Presentation transcript:
Polling station staff training session Local government elections in England and the referendum on the voting system for UK Parliamentary elections – 5 May 2011
Objectives of the training session Your role is key – you are the customer service face of the election and referendum. At this session we will: –outline what we expect you to do on polling day –discuss the voting procedures –think about health and safety issues –highlight a number of administrative arrangements
Key aims for the election and referendum that the polls are consistently administered that the process is transparent that the polls are professionally delivered that they produce accurate results in which all stakeholders are confident that all voters have a good experience, with any person who is entitled to vote being able to do so
Voting at the local government elections Local government elections in England are conducted using the first-past-the-post electoral system. Voters have one or more votes, depending on how many candidates are to be elected to represent an electoral division/ward, and should place a cross in the box to the right of the name of the candidate(s) for whom they wish to vote.
Overview of the Referendum A referendum is a direct vote in which the electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. On 5 May there will be a referendum on the voting system for UK Parliamentary elections. Voters have one vote and should mark a cross (X) in either the ‘yes’ or the ‘no’ box on the ballot paper.
Provision of voter information on the referendum in response to questions on what the referendum is about you should be politically neutral and in no way be or be interpreted to be supporting one option or the other use the FAQs document and take care not to stray from the provided answersFAQs
It is essential that you… – act impartially at all times – comply with any instructions issued by the Counting Officer – ensure the secrecy and security of the ballot
The Presiding Officer – management of the polling station Liaise with the key-holder of the building Organise the layout of the polling station Instruct and supervise the work of the Poll Clerks Account for all the ballot papers, ballot boxes and paperwork
The Poll Clerk – general duties Assist with the layout of the polling station and prepare for the opening of the poll Be polite and professional in dealing with the voters Check that electors are eligible to vote in the referendum and at that polling station Understand the process for issuing ballot papers
Countdown to polling day Essential tasks –Visit polling place and check out contact and access arrangements –Check out arrangements for ballot box collection and check contents as soon as possible –Contact other members of the team –Dress code – ensure clothing reflects professionalism and impartiality but is also comfortable
Polling station inspectors A point of contact Supplies of stationery and equipment Responsible for –Checking layout of stations –Checking things are running smoothly –Being aware of and dealing with queues –Collecting any returned postal votes –Distributing payments (if appropriate) Contact numbers [ ……………. ]
Risks Can’t make contact with key-holder Can’t gain access to the polling station Staff failing to turn up or being late Problems affecting the display of notices Wrong registers allocated to the station The ballot paper numbers do not match those pre-printed on the CNL Tendered ballot papers wrongly issued Queues building up at the close of poll
The Polling Station Setting up, layout and who can enter the polling station
Setting up the polling station Layout / notices (see set-up checklist in Appendix 11 of the Polling station handbook) –must work primarily for the voter –walk route voter expected to follow –accessible to all voters Location of ballot box(es) –accessible and secure Arrange each set of ballot papers in numerical order Tellers, campaigners and agents –who can enter the polling station? Sealing the box(es)
Who can enter the polling station? –Voters –Counting Officer and staff –Candidates and agents –Referendum agents –polling agents –Police officers on duty –Representatives of the Electoral Commission –Accredited observers –Under 18s accompanying voters –Companions of voters with disabilities
Two types of ID issued by the Electoral Commission
Customer care Show a personal interest Be helpful and approachable Listen and empathise with them Allow them to put their point across before responding Don’t say ‘No’, tell them what you can do for them and what they can do But the election rules and the referendum rules must be followed at all times, no matter how insistent, upset or angry they are If in doubt, contact the elections office
Customer care (cont’d) Ensure that the voting process is accessible to all: –layout must work for all voters, including wheelchair users –stationery provided in alternative languages and formats should be clearly visible –you must be able to provide information to disabled electors on options for voting aided and unaided
Tactile voting template Tactile template needs to be clearly visible and you should be confident in using it How to use
Who can and cannot vote? Using the electoral register and corresponding number list(s)
Who is eligible to vote at the polling station in the local government elections? Electors with no letters or dates before their name Electors who are 18 years of age or over on the day of the election – date on or before polling day before their name Electors with a ‘G’ before their name Electors with a ‘K’ before their name Electors with an ‘L’ before their name Electors who have registered anonymously - will have an ‘N’ instead of a name
Who is eligible to vote at the polling station at the referendum? Electors with no letters or dates before their name Electors with an anonymous entry who have no letter next to their entry other than the letter ‘N’ Electors with an ‘E’ before their name Electors who are 18 years of age or over Electors with an ‘F’ before their name Electors with an ‘L’ before their name
Issuing the ballot papers Marking the register and the CNL(s) –Make the elector confirm their name –Mark electors’ elector number in the registerMark electors’ elector number in the register –Enter the electors’ elector number on the Corresponding Number List(s) (CNL(s))Enter the electors’ elector number on the Corresponding Number List(s) (CNL(s)) –Do NOT write the elector number on the ballot paper! Ballot papers –Open up fully so the whole paper is visible. –Official mark –Ballot paper number and unique Identifying Mark (UIM)Ballot paper number and unique Identifying Mark (UIM)
Marking the register Queen’s Walk BC JP12 7AS 411 GVella, Eva1 412 FVella, Tolek1 413 KVella, Christina1 414--------------------Brown, Robert3 415Evans, Gareth5 416---------------------Hall, Peter7 417Myers, Martin7 418 ABishop, Stephanie 13 418/102 FebSmith, Ben13 Click to: return to slide
Example Corresponding Number List (CNL) BC 27/1 Click to: return to slide
Marking the ballot paper for the local government election Voters have one or more votes, depending on how many candidates are to be elected to represent an electoral division/ward, and should place a cross in the box to the right of the name of the candidate(s) for whom they wish to vote. If they vote for more candidates than they are entitled to, their ballot paper will not be counted.
Marking the ballot paper for the referendum Some electors may need to have the voting process explained to them: –voters have one vote, and should place a cross (X) in either the ‘yes’ or the ‘no’ box –If they vote for more than one choice, their ballot paper will not be counted
What happens if…? you are handed a certificate of employment a voter spoils a ballot paper a voter has nominated a proxy but the voter arrives before the proxy a person arrives to vote but the register indicates the person has already voted a person arrives to vote but the register indicates the person is a postal voter a person arrives wanting to vote as an emergency proxy a person believes they should be on the register but they are not listed there is a disturbance at the polling station
The prescribed questions The prescribed questions must be asked: –when you suspect personation –when a registered elector is clearly under age –when a candidate, an election agent, referendum agent or polling agent requests them –always before issuing a tendered ballot paper
Postal Votes voters can hand in their postal votes at any polling station in the local authority (check a pack is for the local authority before accepting it) returned postal ballot packs must be sealed and labelled as instructed [insert procedure for collection of postal ballot packs by the Counting Officer during the day]
Postal votes ‘A’ markers cannot be given an ordinary ballot paper at the polling station: –direct to Counting Officer for replacement (before 5pm) –tendered ballot paper procedure after 5pm exception: where elector claims never to have applied for a postal vote. In such case, they would be eligible for a tendered at any time.
Close of poll Must close at 10 pm Anyone who has been issued with a ballot paper(s) by 10 pm must be allowed to vote However cannot issue after 10pm, even if elector was in a queue at 10pm Seal ballot box(es) Candidates/agents and campaigners are entitled to affix seals now that the polls have closed.
After close of poll Absolutely essential that the ballot paper accounts are completed accurately The ballot paper accounts must be placed in the envelopes provided – keep these with the ballot box(es) Ensure all documents placed in correct packets and signed as appropriate Poll clerks to assist packing up station to allow presiding officer to do these important tasks
Health and safety never put the safety of anyone inside the polling station at risk be aware to any potential risks to safety inspect the premises regularly if hazards are discovered – find a remedy if an accident occurs – follow procedures be careful when lifting heavy objects