Presentation on theme: "Police and Crime Commissioner Elections Mark R Heath."— Presentation transcript:
Police and Crime Commissioner Elections Mark R Heath.
Workshop This is a workshop session So do stop me and ask questions I also have some issues for us to discuss…
Summary Primary and secondary legislation & guidance Timelines Roles and responsibilities – Police Area Returning Officer (PARO) and Local Returning Officer (LRO) Issues such as Supplementary Vote count models and doubtful ballot papers
Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 Section 50: Date of elections Section 52: Franchise Section 53: Duty of EC to raise public awareness Section 54: Returning Officers Section 55: Fees Section 57: Method of Voting
Section 64+: disqualification Schedule 9 – Supplementary Vote system
Secondary Legislation Police and Crime Commissioner Elections Order 2012 The Police and Crime Commissioner Elections (Functions of Returning Officers) Regulations 2012 The Police Area Returning Officers (Designation) Order 2012 The Police and Crime Commissioner Elections (Declaration of Acceptance of Office) Order 2012
EC Guidance Usual suite of guidance including Candidates and agents Public awareness Critical given Supplementary Vote system issues Combined poll with Mayoral for major cities? Voters need to understand how to vote Mayoral style booklet? Freepost? Website?
Timelines Secondary legislation – laid around Feb 2012, approved around March enabling PAROs to be appointed etc Electoral Commission to publish Guidance around April Guidance for Candidates etc (including spending) around April Electoral Commission public awareness campaign: around May-Sept
Roles and Responsibilities PARO The PARO will have the following powers and responsibilities: Undertake the functions and duties prescribed by Regulations to be made under the provisions of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. This will include a duty to: give of notice of any PCC election, have oversight of nomination procedures for candidates, and calculate the number of votes given for each candidate and declare the result
Issue directions to Local Returning Officers in respect of the discharge of their functions in relation to the PCC elections. Co-ordinate and administer the planning of the election at the Police force area level, in line with the legislation and Electoral Commission guidance Ensure that Local Returning Officers have the necessary plans and arrangements in place for the conduct of the elections in their respective local authority areas Attend such national or regional meetings as may be required by the Home Office
Arrange briefing and training events for Local Returning Officers Manage the results collation process leading to a result Receive the expenses returns for candidates Undertake all other necessary activities for the conduct of the election within the Force area in accordance with the relevant statutory provisions.
Duties of LRO the conduct of the poll, the printing of the ballot papers, the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers for electors and their proxies, verification of the ballot paper accounts, and the counting of the votes given. NB – PARO may choose to take responsibility for printing ballot papers, verification and/or counting
ISSUES PARO Directions November election Candidates The Count: Local / central issues SV related issues A few practical things…. Managing the Count result Welcome comments & thoughts as we go through these….
PARO Directions Printing of ballot papers Method and timing of verification / count Local / central Timing and results collation
A November Election Practical issues around polling stations Weather, daylight and access For many, second election in year – availability of polling stations (schools)? Mobilising “normal” local authority capacity & resilience to support and assist at a time of cuts……
Candidates Who may stand? Rules / criteria May be more independents? May create more issues for the PARO and LRO
The Count Central or local? Verification, count or both? Practical considerations Legislation will not be prescriptive PARO will decide, following consultation with LROs Responsibilities Recounts / re-verifications If not central, directions about timing from PARO EC’s paper on timing of counts
The Count: SV related issues Column One First Preference Column Two Second Preference CHURCHER, Alan X Party X SMITH, Joe AB Party X YELLOW, Jane Independent
Voters have a first and second preference choice. A voter marks a cross in one column for their first preference candidate and another cross in a second column for their second preference (if they wish to do so). The ballot papers are counted and if a candidate receives more than 50 per cent of the first preference votes on the first count, then they are elected. If no candidate reaches the 50 per cent threshold, the two candidates with the highest number of votes are retained and the other candidates are eliminated. The second preferences on the ballot papers of the eliminated candidates are counted and any cast for the two remaining candidates are transferred. The candidate with the most votes at the end of this process is elected.
“Rejected” Ballot Papers Many more “rejected” papers (potentially) Voters who express a preference for a second preference candidate who has been excluded “leave” the contest Only one vote as first preference, no second preference Only one vote, but in second preference column Two votes, but in same column Two votes, one in each column, but for the same candidate Vote marks paper with “1” and “2” in same/different columns
SO – there is an opportunity for a lot of “rejected” ballot papers, the issues are complex and new to most LROs Consistency and clarity of approach is vital in each police area (at least) Public awareness campaign will be essential Guidance for LROs, as well as training of staff / Electoral Commission Guidance will be crucial One reason why a Friday Count may be better…..
A few practical things 100 subscribers for nomination - checking? Fees and charges Order Insurance and indemnity Legal/formal role (and expectations) of the PARO / LRO in communicating details about candidates
Managing the Count Result Role of PARO Timing / location Expectations of those contesting Directions from PARO System / IT
Some concluding points…. SV experience - London First mayoral election for major cities also intended for November 15 th “Unintended” consequences: more independent candidates time of year for an election Availability of polling stations (schools) proposal to combine Mayoral elections with PCC elections in November 2012