Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Elections Consultative Group

Elections Consultative Group meeting later this morning - mentioned here before.

Should be a fairly robust meeting, given that it will be discussing how the 'count' was handled on the 3rd/4th May. I've mentioned before how almost all of the counting-problems were related to AMS (and not STV) but there is also the broader issue of how the whole process was managed over the two days.

In Edinburgh, the way the Local Government results were managed - and announced - was shocking as far as I'm concerned. There wasn't a huge issue with the STV 'count' as regards spoiled/rejected papers - but there certainly was an issue with how the results were communicated, and prior to that how information was made available (or not!) to all those present at the count.

The first Council meeting on 17th May (full minute here - see item 11) passed a motion on this - text below - and I'll certainly be pursuing completion of this work which has now been requested as an "Act of Council":


1. Following the elections to the Scottish Parliament and Councils on 3 May 2007:
a) To express the Council’s thanks to the Election Team and election
staff for their hard work and perseverance in carrying out the election
count in very demanding circumstances.
b) To note that serious difficulties were encountered across Scotland
and that damage had been done to the public’s confidence in the
electoral system.
c) To note that a national review, under the auspices of the Electoral
Commission, into the conduct of the Scottish Parliament and Council
Elections, with special reference to the number of spoilt papers and
the timing of the arrival of postal ballots, was now under way and to
ask the Returning Officer to keep the Council advised of progress
and opportunities to contribute to the review.
d) To note that, in line with previous practice, the Returning Officer had initiated a post-election review for Edinburgh and to ask him to ensure that the Elections Consultative Group and political groups on the Council were fully involved in the review process.

2. Given the difficulties which were encountered at the end of the local government count, in terms of the arrangements for providing information and announcing provisional and final results, to ask the Returning Officer to bring forward specific recommendations to avoid problems with the process for the election count in the future.

3. Following consideration of the Returning Officer’s report and of the national review, to ask for an independent review to be carried out in order to address the difficulties on the night and to bring forward recommendations for the future, the review to focus on the responsibilities of Edinburgh’s Returning Officer, including the timing and speed of counting in Edinburgh as well as the information available to those attending the count.



Anonymous said...

Pssst... I think you will be NSNMA2007 shortlisted. Who'd ave thunk it?


Andrew said...

Jim; If true, wonders will never cease, indeed ;-))

Anonymous said...

Let hope the revised meeting will be somewhat more purposful than yesterdays.

And if we can get some answers on the 'Independent' review then all the better.

Anonymous said...


Andrew said...

Davie - I certainly hope so!

Andrew said...

Anonymous - (poorly) educated guess obviously :-(