EDDC in the electoral limelight again

From Electoral Commission reports below:

“In contrast, in East Devon, where the challenges are different, there has been an increase in the number of entries on the register. The ERO has attributed this to the success of making visits to non-responding properties and individuals, which were carried out across the area in 2014 for the first time since 2010.”

Many will recall the very successful East Devon Watch campaign that resulted in many, many extra voters being added to the electoral roll prior to the elections in May this year.  Our CEO and Electoral Officer, Mark Williams was summonsed to Parliament in December 2014 to be grilled on why East Devon’s total electorate had falled spectacularly between 2010 and 2014.

Mr Williams maintained that it wasn’t so bad and that he had made the executive decision that simply telephoning potential voters was good enough, despite a ruling that all missing voters should receive personal household visits – now it seems from the above that he has done a complete about-turn!  He memorably said that this would be much too dangerous in a dark and wintry East Devon – something which cut no ice at the hearing and must have been a bit puzzling to those canvassers out in Cumbria, Scotland and the like – not to mention London!

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2014/11/09/those-missing-voters-and-telephone-canvassing/

The Electoral Commission took a very keen interest in East Devon with the result that some 20 or so canvassers were hurriedly recruited in time for the elections, though little else by way of voter encouragement was offered, despite a large budget for election expenses.

Now the Electoral Commission has brought out reports on things as they were in December 2014 and East Devon is mentioned specifically several times (see quote at top of article).

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/182375/Analysis-of-the-December-2014-electoral-registers-in-England-and-Wales.pdf

It is noted that AFTER EDW’s campaign, EDDC’s Electoral Register jumped FIVE PER CENT!  That’s 4,665 electors that Mr Williams appears not to have been able to contact by telephone between 2010 and 2014!

The Government wanted the Electoral Commission to end its work promoting voter registration by the end of 2015 [possibly due to the SNP effect it isn’t keen to see Scottish registration improve?] but, citing East Devon and other councils, the Electoral Commission says it is essential that it continues until the end of 2016.  The report is HERE and cites report in justification HERE: