Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Polling station staff briefing session

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Polling station staff briefing session"— Presentation transcript:

1 Polling station staff briefing session
Elections to the Scottish Parliament and the referendum on the voting system for UK Parliamentary elections – 5 May 2011 Aim This PowerPoint presentation has been designed to assist with the briefing of polling station staff for the combined referendum and elections to the Scottish Parliament. This presentation refers to the polling station handbook and polling station quick guide produced by the Electoral Commission to support this election and referendum. Additional Materials Polling station handbook, Polling station quick guide. Equipment PowerPoint, flip chart, sundries box, notices, ballot papers, ballot box, sample paperwork.

2 Introduction Introduce yourself and anyone else involved in the briefing session. If you have any key staff who deal specifically with polling stations and or staff issues introduce them and/or give key contact details – often encourages people to call with questions or problems when they know exactly who it is they need to contact.

3 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 The election and referendum is an event where every polling station throughout the UK will play a part in enabling people to have their say. Your role is vital in ensuring voters, candidates and campaigners have confidence in the election and referendum process. Highlight the importance of polling station staff being prepared for and confident about their duties.

4 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

5 Voting at the Scottish Parliamentary election
The election to the Scottish Parliament is conducted using the Additional Member System (or AMS) There are two ballot papers, one for the constituency election and one for the regional The voter will mark their votes by placing a single cross (X) against the candidate or party of their choice on each of the two separate ballot papers Display a large copy of an example of how the ballot papers will look like (explaining that the actual ballot papers can’t be finalised until the nominations are closed) and how the ballot papers will be finished (e.g. stapled, loose and banded etc.).

6 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. Display a large copy of an example of what the referendum ballot paper will look like and how the ballot papers will be finished (e.g. stapled, loose and banded etc.).

7 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 answers While it will be entirely appropriate for staff to explain to voters how to mark the referendum ballot paper, there are aspects relating to the subject matter of the referendum where it would be inappropriate for polling station staff to comment. Provide all polling station staff with a copy of the FAQs document - Information to voters in polling stations on the referendum on the voting system for UK Parliamentary elections. The answers provided must be used by polling station staff to respond to any questions on what the referendum is about. Polling station staff must not be provided with copies of any other materials covering the subject matter of the referendum, which includes copies of the Commission’s public information booklet. Where questions are more complicated and cannot be answered by the answers in the FAQs document, direct voters to the Electoral Commission at or on

8 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 outcome of the elections and referendum must deliver a fair and unchallenged result. There is no room for error! Reinforce - If in doubt about anything call the elections team.

9 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 Aim of this slide is to highlight that the PO is in-charge of proceedings on the day. Emphasise that both Poll Clerks and Presiding Officers must work together to understand their respective roles and, where required, carry out each others duties other than those listed below: Instructing a police officer to remove someone from the polling station Asking the prescribed questions Limiting the number of accredited observers present at any one time Monitoring the activities of the campaigners and tellers who may be present outside the polling station

10 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 The Poll Clerk – general duties Reinforce the above messages with reference to the polling station handbook and quickguide.

11 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 Reinforce slide. Presiding Officers should be making contact with the key holder on at least two occasions: one early on and one near to the day. Think about Getting the keys, alarm codes, access, facilities, furniture. Make sure any problems with contact are highlighted to elections team immediately. Presiding Officers should also be making contact with Poll Clerks on at least two occasions. Staff problems such as possible sickness should always be referred to the elections team. If ballot papers are collected in advance of polling day by Presiding Officers, these should be checked in advance to ensure the ballot papers are numbered in sequence and match those pre-printed on the CNL(s) and are stored securely as they do, of course, carry the official mark. Check the registers are the correct ones for the polling station.

12 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 [ ……………. ] Use this slide to outline the plans for polling station inspectors / what their responsibilities are. Outline the kinds of things they should be talking to the inspectors about.

13 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 It’s the POs duty to make sure any problems are dealt with and are not ignored. Discussion – discuss how the risks on the slide could be mitigated (emphasise that PO’s job starts before polling day). Could use flipchart. If you can’t make contact don’t leave it – contact the elections office. Arrange the time with the key-holder that you need to gain access to the station – 6.30am Most issues with getting access are due to lack of contact – make sure it doesn’t happen. Always ring if there are problems such as car failure. These things happen but elections team need to know. Make sure all staff know to be there at 6.30am to help set up.

14 Setting up, layout and who can enter the polling station

15 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) Reinforce slide – if these aspects are all sorted at the outset, the day will run smoothly. Think about access to and within the polling station – clear and wide enough space to turn a wheelchair around inside [point to polling station set-up list in Appendix 11 to polling station handbook] position of notices – can people see them? Ensure the required notice is posted in the polling booth [SHOW NOTICE] ballot box – accessible but safe, the PO must be able to see it clearly at all times Keep ballot paper books organised to help with issue, this will also help with calculations for the ballot paper account Keep an eye on any people gathered outside, make sure they don’t impede access Perhaps think of an area of the polling station where polling agents and observers can be positioned so that they can oversee proceedings but not get too close to put voters off. Practical Demonstration - how to put the lid on and seal the ballot box. Agents are not allowed to attach seal at the opening, but should be invited to observe the sealing if present. Notices / polling station signs / equipment – have a couple of tables set out with all the polling station equipment so that people can see it and ask how anything is used or what things are for.

16 Polling station layout
Describe the layout and take questions.

17 Polling station layout

18 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 Highlight Observers and Electoral Commission Representatives will have photographic ID issued by the Electoral Commission (see next slide). Companions of voters with disabilities must be 18 years or over and either a close relative (father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, civil partner, son or daughter), or a qualified elector. Must fill in a declaration (SHOW COPY) Staff need to be careful to preserve the distinction between staff and candidates/agents so electors are clear when they come in. Discussion point Can tellers wear rosettes with party names / candidates? Can the media enter the polling station to film a candidate/campaigner voting?

19 Two types of ID issued by the Electoral Commission
Accredited observers & Commission Representatives do not need to give advanced warning of their visit but do need to provide you with ID when they come into the station. Silver badges (ie those issued to accredited observers) will have a start and expiry date, as well as a reference number above the picture. Observation is an important part of the election and referendum process and care should be taken not to obstruct it in any way. POs can manage access in case of overcrowding by e.g. having a rota system in place. But reinforce that POs not entitled to bar all observers, only limit numbers present. If numbers are limited, this should be recorded in the polling station log. Refer POs to EC publication Observers at UK elections: (guidance for POs can be found at the bottom of the page, under the heading: Returning, Counting and Presiding Officers)

20 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 Reinforce slide. It is all common sense but voters that feel comfortable with the voting experience are more likely to participate regularly. Having a positive and empathetic attitude can often help to diffuse difficult situations. But, also make sure you do not lead voters to vote in a specific way when offering assistance. The rules must always be followed - if in doubt, call the elections office.

21 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 Customer care (cont’d) Reinforce slide. Ensure that any large print ballot papers, tactile voting template, magnifying glasses, easy-read/alternative format literature are all visible and available when people enter the station. Run through options for disabled voters who need assistance: companion, PO, tactile template. Discussion point What if an elector cannot gain access to the polling station?

22 Tactile voting template
Tactile template needs to be clearly visible and you should be confident in using it How to use Demonstration For existing devices to be used with the referendum ballot paper, they will need to be lined up with the bottom of the paper rather than the top.

23 Who can and cannot vote? Using the electoral register and corresponding number list(s)

24 Who is eligible to vote at the polling station at the election to the Scottish Parliament ?
Electors with no letters or dates before their name Electors who are 18 years of age or over 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 who have an ‘N’ instead of a name Electors with a G before their name – these are European Union (EU) citizens who can vote in devolved institution and local government elections Electors with a K before their name – these are EU citizens (other than UK or Irish) who can vote in devolved institution elections, local government and European Parliamentary elections Electors with an L before their name – these are electors who are peers and who may vote in devolved institution, local government and European Parliamentary elections

25 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 who are 18 years of age or over Electors with an ‘E’ before their name Electors with an ‘F’ before their name Electors with an ‘L’ before their name Reinforce only these electors are to be given a ballot paper. E = Overseas elector who is also a peer and is entitled to vote at European Parliamentary elections only F = Overseas electors who can normally vote only in UK Parliamentary and European Parliamentary elections L = Peer who is entitled to vote at European Parliamentary elections, local government elections and in devolved institution elections 25

26 Issuing the ballot papers
Marking the register and the CNL(s) Make the elector confirm their name Mark electors’ elector number in the register 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) Outline procedure for issuing three ballot papers and marking corresponding number list(s) ! Interactive slide - click on links for sample register, CNL and ballot paper reverse. There is a separate sheet of paper for the elector number to be written on – the Corresponding Number List(s). Explain your official mark. Explain your UIM. The UIM is another security device and is useful for a court if an election is challenged

27 Marking the register Click to: return to slide BC Red Dragon Walk
JP12 7AS 411 G Vella, Gosia 1 412 F Taber, Louise 413 K Vella, Kostas Brown, Robert 3 415 Evans, Gareth 5 Barker, Peter 7 417 Jolly, Simon 418 A Bishop, Stephanie 13 418/1 02 Feb Smith, Ben Marking the register An example of a register marked for elector numbers 414 and 416. Use a ruler, mistakes are made by poor marks. Be especially careful with family members. Never accept a poll card as proof of identity. Always ask for full name and address – unless you are dealing with an anonymous elector! Discussion points Can 415 vote? Yes. No marker against their name. Can 412 vote? Only in the referendum. Can 411 vote? Only in election. Can 418 vote? No. They are a postal voter so you cannot give them an ordinary ballot paper. Can 418/1 vote? Yes. Click to: return to slide

28 Example Corresponding Number List (CNL)
BC 27/1 Ballot paper numbers will be pre-printed on the list so all you need to write on is the elector number next to the relevant ballot paper number. Do not write the elector number on the ballot paper. Click to: return to slide

29 Example reverse of ballot paper

30 Marking the ballot paper for the Scottish Parliamentary election
Each voter has two votes in the Scottish Parliament election: a constituency vote for a candidate and a regional vote for a political party or candidate standing as an individual (if there are any). The voter will mark their votes by placing a single cross (X) against the candidate or party of their choice on each of the two separate ballot papers: a constituency ballot paper and a regional ballot paper.

31 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

32 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 What happens if…? Add your local instructions here. What does a certificate of employment look like and what information do the staff need from that form. If the voter spoils their ballot paper they must be issued a replacement and the PO accounts for any spoilt papers on the ballot paper account If the voter arrives before the nominated proxy then the proxy cannot vote and must be told the situation This is a situation where the PO must put the prescribed questions to the voter before issuing a tendered ballot paper Remember the extended use of tendered ballot papers for those marked as absent voters and the deadline for receiving a replacement postal vote (5 p.m.) or otherwise issuing a tendered ballot paper for voters who claim never to have applied for a postal vote are entitled to a tendered ballot paper at any time. If the voter has arrived at the correct polling station then contact electoral services as there may have been a clerical error when compiling the register – outline the process to be followed. Emphasise that poll never to be adjourned on the PO’s own initiative.

33 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 Refer to Appendix 5a of the polling station handbook.

34 Postal Votes voters can hand in their postal votes at any polling station in the constituency (check a pack is for the constituency 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] It is important to emphasise the correct process when dealing with postal votes that are handed into the polling stations. They must be for the constituency Any completed packs that are handed in must be properly managed by placing them in a sealed packet labelled with the station details. Should identify whether postal ballot packs will be collected during polling hours and / or should be returned at close of poll together

35 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. If voters with an ‘A’ marked against their name are insisting that they vote ‘in person’ there is no way that the Presiding Officer can allow this. Explain the procedure for issuing tendered votes and where to send people for replacement ballot packs if it is before 5pm. Note again different start time for issuing tendered ballot papers: If elector claims that they never applied for a postal vote – eligible for a tendered at any time. If elector claims that they lost, spoilt or did not receive their postal vote – eligible for a tendered only after 5pm.

36 Close of Poll The procedures to be followed

37 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 and agents entitled to affix seals now that the polls have closed.

38 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 You could run a mock exercise in how to fill in the ballot paper account [The Commission has developed such an exercise as part of its suite of support materials]. Do not be in such a rush to leave at 10pm that you make mistakes on the ballot paper account, please make sure this is done accurately - otherwise it will cause problems at the count. Take time to ensure that all documents are placed in the correct packets and are signed as appropriate. Explain any other local arrangements with regard to equipment and left over sundries and stationery. Data protection – poll cards need to be disposed of safely.

39 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 Make use of the polling station inspectors if you find something you aren’t happy about. Use common sense.

40 Questions You may want to test if all the polling station staff have understood and feel fully confident about their role on the day. [The Commission has developed a multi- choice quiz which can be used for this purpose as part of its suite of support materials].

41 Additional Information
Election team contacts Electoral Commission website Feedback Sheets

Download ppt "Polling station staff briefing session"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google