THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND

Report
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
European Parliamentary Elections
in The Electoral Region of Scotland
2014
Briefing for Prospective Candidates and
their Agents
25 March 2014
What do you need to know?
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The election process
Roles and Responsibilities
Nominations – how to stand
Key Dates
The campaign
Public Awareness
Polling
Postal Voting
The count, local & national
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
European Parliamentary
Elections – Key Facts
• The Electoral Region of Scotland
– 6 MEPs
• A single contest
– Same ballot paper etc
– Consistency across the Region
• One vote for either a registered political party or an
independent candidate
• Run on local authority boundaries, 32 Local Returning
Officers, 32 local counts
– Added together for a single result for Scotland
• Polling 22 May, Count 25 May, Result 26 May
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
An Election:
Who can vote?
• The register
Accessibility
Consistency
Efficiency
Integrity
Who do they
vote for?
• Nominations
How do they
find out?
• Public
Awareness
Legislation &
Governance
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How do they
vote?
How did they
vote?
Polling
Postal
Polling Places
Other?
• Counting the
votes
• Rules
• Electoral Commission
• Regional Returning Officer
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
Roles and Responsibilities
• Regional Returning Officer
– Mary Pitcaithly (Chief Exec/RO for Falkirk)
• Local Returning Officers
– 32 one for each local authority area
• Electoral Registration Officers
– 15 across Scotland
• The Electoral Commission
– Guidance, regulation, reporting
Interests of the
Voter?
• Public Awareness
• Participation
• Registration
• Turnout
• Understanding the Process
• Integrity
• Take part & trust the
result!
• Police Scotland
• Candidates, Agents, Campaigners
– Your role!
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
Nominations
• Between 15 April and 24 April
– 4pm deadline
• At City Chambers, Royal Mile, Edinburgh
– Appointments for informal checking
• Deposit
– £5,000 by electronic transfer (preferred), debit
card or banker’s draft (or Building Society cheque)
• Nomination Packs
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
Nomination Papers
• Nomination Pack
– Papers plus guidance / information
• Papers delivered in person
– Nomination Paper, List of Candidates (for parties),
authorisations (party and emblem), Consent,
Appointment of Agent
• Validity
• Withdrawal
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
Key Dates
Event
Deadlines
Publication of notice of election
14 April
Dispatch of Poll cards
14 April - 16 April
Nomination Period
15 April – 24 April (4pm deadline)
Statement of parties/individual candidates
nominated/notice of poll
5pm on Thursday 24 April
Dispatch of Postal Votes
30 April - 2 May
Applications for registration
6 May
Deadline for notification of appointment of
sub-agents & polling and counting agents
15 May
Opening of Postal Votes
POLLING DAY
Varies across Electoral Region
The Count
25 - 26 May (declarations from 9pm 25 May)
Return of individual candidate spending
15 July (within 50 days of result)
22 May
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
Public Awareness
• Electoral Commission Campaign
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“It’s your vote don’t lose it”
Service voter campaign
Overseas Voter campaign
UK-wide awareness campaign to encourage registration
Supporting media work
• Local Campaigns
– Registration and then turnout
– Adverts, radio, press, council offices etc
• Role of the Parties and Candidates
– We need your help
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
Electoral Commission UK Activity
• Starts 1 April - “It’s your vote don’t lose it”
• Raise awareness of the need to register to vote by 6 May
• Updating and reusing existing creative TV ad Bungee and
Ballot Box man
• Ads will run on TV, VoD, radio and online
• Ads highlight if you’re not registered then you cannot vote
and direct people to www.aboutmyvote.co.uk website or
call centre (0800 3 280 280) for further info or to get a
registration form
• Supporting media work
• Stakeholder resources including a poster and an online
banner
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
The Campaign
• Campaign Material
– Imprints
• Posters on lamp posts
– Check rules with Local RO
• Entitled to copies of the register of electors for
electoral purposes (only)
• Freepost delivery of election material (refer to
Royal Mail)
• Use of rooms for the purpose of public meetings
• Do’s and Don’ts
– Encourage & Help (only!)
– Code of Conduct for handling postals
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
Appointment of Agents
• All parties and individual candidates must appoint an election
agent
• Election agents can appoint sub agents for part of the region –
Appointment made in writing to the RRO by statutory
deadlines and RRO issues accreditation to access local and
regional events
• Postal Vote, Polling Agents and Counting Agents –
Appointment to LRO by statutory deadline and LRO issues
accreditation for local events only
• Number of counting agents set by Local Returning Officer
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
Polling
• 7am – 10pm
• List of polling places, number of stations available from
Local RO
• Behaviour of tellers
– Requirement for secrecy
– No aggression / intimidation in campaigning
– Obey instructions of Presiding Officer, Returning Officer,
Police Scotland
– Tellers can only approach electors on the way out of the
polling station
– Candidates and Agents are responsible for managing the
behaviour of their supporters
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
Postal Voting
• Very important element of the election
– 15-20% of electoral roll; 25-50% of counted votes
• Confidence in the system depends on integrity of
campaigners
– Code of Conduct
• Must be seen to be fair, no question of interference
• Date of Birth and Signature
– Forensic Science training
• Voter will be notified of rejection within 3 months
• Opening Sessions – observers can attend
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
Integrity Issues
• 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
the Police Scotland in consultation with LRO and RRO
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
Police Scotland Support
Superintendent Jim Baird
National Single Point of Contact on Electoral
Matters for Police Scotland
0141 207 5706
[email protected]
• Local Divisional SPOCs
Inspector for Divisional Coordination Unit
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
Police Scotland Guidance
• Guidance on Detecting and Preventing
Electoral Fraud
– Electoral Commission Website
– http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/
108573/Guidance-on-preventing-and-detecting-electoral-fraudScotland-2014.pdf
• Police Scotland approach
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
Counting
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
The Count – Local
• Sunday 25 May
– Except for Western Isles
• Verification
– Including unused and spoilt
– Face Down
– Report made available to observers
• Count
– No intimation of results until after 9pm, so most will start 4pm-5pm
• Behaviour in Count Hall
– Requirement for secrecy
– Instructions from Local RO
– Mobiles – no photography, no use near tables
• Agents have an important role in scrutiny
– Represent the elector in the hall
– Verify that things are being done correctly
– Challenge
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
The Count – the result for
Scotland
• Result for the Electoral Region of Scotland
comprised of 32 Local Results
• Regional Returning Officer, based in City
Chambers, verifies and authorises local
declarations
– Candidate and a guest, plus Election Agent, can be
present in regional hub
• D’hondt method to allocate the 6 seats
• Results on websites
• Final declaration Monday 26 May
– After Western Isles result is intimated
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
What Next?
• Consult Electoral Commission Guidance
• Keep track of campaign spending
• Prepare Nomination Papers
– Arrange an informal check
– Formally Submit
• Campaign!
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
Party Campaign Spending
• Regulated Period
– Begins on 23 January 2014 and ends on 22 May 2014
• Spending limit per region is £45,000 multiplied by the
number of MEPs that represent the region
– Scotland: 6 MEPs, spending limit of £270,000
• Invoices
– You must receive all invoices on or before 23 June 2014
– You must pay all invoices for your campaign spending which
have been sent in time not later than 21 July 2014
• The deadline for reporting to the Electoral Commission if
you have spent £250,000 or under is 22 August 2014
• The deadline for reporting spending over £250,000 is 22
November 2014 (to the Electoral Commission)
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
Key Contacts
• Regional Returning Officer’s Staff
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Mary Pitcaithly RRO
Chris Highcock (Edinburgh DRO and EMB Secretary)
Dougie McGregor (Count)
Graeme Donaldson (Edinburgh DRO Nominations)
• Local Returning Officers / Electoral Registration
Officers
– Details in Nomination Pack
• European Parliament
– http://www.elections2014.eu/en
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
THE ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FOR SCOTLAND
Questions?

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