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UK Parliamentary General Election – 7 May 2015 Briefing of Candidates and Agents Linlithgow & East Falkirk and Livingston Constituencies West Lothian Civic.

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Presentation on theme: "UK Parliamentary General Election – 7 May 2015 Briefing of Candidates and Agents Linlithgow & East Falkirk and Livingston Constituencies West Lothian Civic."— Presentation transcript:

1 UK Parliamentary General Election – 7 May 2015 Briefing of Candidates and Agents Linlithgow & East Falkirk and Livingston Constituencies West Lothian Civic Centre, Livingston 19 March 2015

2 UK Parliamentary General Election Welcome and Introduction by Graham Hope, Returning Officer

3 Purpose of Briefing Explain key electoral processes Highlight recent changes in election rules Answer candidates’ and agents’ questions Identify further information sources

4 Timetable – Key Dates EventDeadline/Time Publication of notice of election 31 March Dispatch of Poll Cards to Royal Mail 31 March to 1 April Nomination Period 1 to 9 April (4pm deadline) Statement of persons standing nominated/notice of poll 5pm on Thursday 9 April Dispatch of Postal Votes to Royal Mail – 1 st issue 20 to 21 April Applications for registration to vote 20 April Application for new postal/postal proxy 21 April Opening of Postal Votes Daily, starting on 27 April Deadline for notification of appointment of sub-agents & polling and counting agents 5 May POLLING DAY 7 May The Count 7 May (10.15pm)

5 Nomination Procedures Nomination pack Minimum age - 18 Commonly used names Attendance at nomination proceedings Publication of candidate’s home address False information on nomination form an offence Short time period to process nominations

6 Valid Nomination Nomination paper Consent to nomination Home address form Certificate of Authorisation (registered party description) Request for party emblem (optional) Deposit (£500) All lodged by 4pm on Thursday 9 April

7 Polling Arrangements Timetable – key dates Scheme of polling places and stations Maps of constituencies Campaigning West Lothian and Falkirk Council policies on campaign material on council property

8 Voting Procedures One ballot paper – one ballot box Voting system – first past the post Design of ballot paper Folding of ballot papers and displaying UIM on back Assistance to voters Observers

9 Campaigning Candidates’ copies of registers and AV Lists – from Electoral Registration Office Appointment of agents: o sub-agents o polling and counting agents o deadline – 5 May o urge early appointment of sub-agents List of meeting rooms for candidates – West Lothian and Falkirk Briefing note – campaigning, tellers, rosettes and badges

10 Campaign material on council property West Lothian Display of election material prohibited on council property Do allow display of A-boards: - Permitted in the immediate vicinity of polling places - Letter to Head of Operational Services - One A-board per candidate - Must be removed at close of poll Falkirk Display of election material prohibited on council property

11 Register of Electors and AV List Candidates’ free copy ERO’s request form Electronic format (unless paper copy requested) Supplied once nomination accepted Use for electoral purposes only Effect of IER on process – transitional arrangements and effect on postal votes

12 Postal Voting (1) Numbers – 30,000 Issued by Adare Impact of Individual Elector Registration Inclusion in first issue of postal votes Cancelling a postal vote Replacement for lost or spoilt

13 Postal Voting (2) Code of conduct on campaigning Signing up to code – local commitment by candidates/agents Attendance at openings Secrecy requirement Marked postal voters’ list

14 Count Arrangements Venue Who can attend Timing of the count Layout and logistics Estimated time for declarations of results

15 Stages of Count (1) Receipt of ballot boxes Allocation of boxes to tables Verification of ballot paper accounts Sorting of PO’s documentation

16 Stages of Count (2) Finalising opening of postal votes Counting of votes Adjudication of doubtful papers Declaration of result

17 Integrity and Security Seriousness of Electoral Offences - Integrity is fundamental Police Scotland (SPOC) –Bribery –Treating –Undue Influence –Personation –False Statements Candidates, Agents and campaigners have critical role to ensure integrity and confidence in the electoral process All allegations of electoral fraud will be investigated robustly by Police Scotland in consultation with the RO

18 Police Scotland Support National Single Point of Contact on Electoral Matters for Police Scotland Superintendent Jim Baird 0141 207 5706 Local Divisional SPOCs Inspector for Divisional Coordination Unit

19 Police Scotland Guidance Guidance on Detecting and Preventing Electoral Fraud –Electoral Commission Website – data/assets/pdf_file/0006/108573/Guidance -on-preventing-and-detecting-electoral- fraud-Scotland-2014.pdf data/assets/pdf_file/0006/108573/Guidance -on-preventing-and-detecting-electoral- fraud-Scotland-2014.pdf Police Scotland approach

20 Encouraging Participation of Voters National campaign by Electoral Commission Statutory duty of RO and ERO Equality Impact Assessment Local Voter Registration and Awareness Communication Plan

21 Recommendations from the Convenor of the EMB Publication of Notice of Election Date of dispatch of poll cards Date of dispatch of postal voting packs Folding of ballot papers and displaying the UIM Requirement for secrecy at postal vote openings Method of verifying and counting of the votes

22 Urban myths UIM and barcode on back of ballot paper Use of pencils Seals Count staff with pencils Moving papers between bundles when being counted

23 Candidates’ Election Spending Long and short campaigns Limits on spending Return forms Deadlines for submission and advertising availability for inspection Electoral Commission’s guidance

24 Access to Election Documents Retained by RO for one year Public inspection of nearly all documents – not ballot papers Handwritten notes only allowed of *marked registers of electors and AV lists Copies of these * documents allowed for certain persons, e.g. candidates, local constituency parties Detailed guidance from Electoral Commission

25 Contact Details – Election Team Tel. no: 01506 282035 email: website: t/pol_elec_democracy/elections_and_voting/ t/pol_elec_democracy/elections_and_voting/ Elections Office: Emergency Planning Room, 2 nd Floor, West Lothian Civic Centre

26 Further Information Electoral Commission’s Guide to Candidates and Agents - agent/uk-parliamentary-general-election-great-britain Electoral Registration Offices – –Lothian – 0131 344 2500 - –Central – 01786 892289 -

27 QUESTIONS? Feedback survey – please complete before you leave Remember to take nomination pack

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