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Polling station staff briefing session Elections to the Scottish Parliament and the referendum on the voting system for UK Parliamentary elections – 5.

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Presentation on theme: "Polling station staff briefing session Elections to the Scottish Parliament and the referendum on the voting system for UK Parliamentary elections – 5."— 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

2 Introduction

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

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

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.

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 answersFAQs

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

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

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

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

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 [ ……………. ]

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

14 The Polling Station 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)

16 Polling station layout

17

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

19 Two types of ID issued by the Electoral Commission

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

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

22 Tactile voting template Tactile template needs to be clearly visible and you should be confident in using it How to use

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

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

26 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)

27 Marking the register Red Dragon Walk BC JP12 7AS 411 GVella, Gosia1 412 FTaber, Louise1 413 KVella, Kostas Brown, Robert3 415Evans, Gareth Barker, Peter7 417Jolly, Simon7 418 ABishop, Stephanie /102 FebSmith, Ben13 Click to: return to slide

28 Example Corresponding Number List (CNL) BC 27/1 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

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

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]

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.

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

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

40 Questions

41 Additional Information Election team contacts Electoral Commission website –www.electoralcommission.org.ukwww.electoralcommission.org.uk –www.aboutmyvote.co.ukwww.aboutmyvote.co.uk Feedback Sheets


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