Our Election omnishambles – and the Returning Officer’s pay

In addition to the omnishambles about postal vote mistakes (twice) we should not forget this, too:

East Devon’s returning officer has defended the delays at the count for the General Election in Sidmouth.

In a statement given to the press Mark Williams said: “This the first time since 1979 that we have had three elections in one night. The reasons why the government stopped this was that in rural areas like East Devon means the sheer volume of ballot papers that are prepared for counting causes a huge volume of work.”

Earlier Mr Williams said his team was ready and said the count would conclude at 2.30am. …

http://www.devonlive.com/election-2015-east-devon-returning-officer/story-26463810-detail/story.html

Question: How come other rural areas didn’t have this problem?

AND remember Mr Williams is paid EXTRA for his election duties. Wonder how much extra and whether cock-ups mean a pay cut? We will never know, because the job is not covered by the Freedom off Information Act and EDDC refuses to tell us. AND the Returning Officer has a big budget but because of that Freedom of Information block, we are not allowed to know what it is and, crucially, what happens to any underspend.

However, we do know that the Sheffield returning officer refused his fee of £20,000 in 2015 and here is a list of what other election staff are paid:

“Fees

Election officials’ fees vary widely from constituency to constituency but might typically be:
Presiding officer: £250-£300;
Poll clerk: £115-£190;
Postal vote issuer: £8 per hour;
Postal vote opener: £9 per hour;
Count supervisor: £150 night shift;
Counting assistant: £12.50 per hour (plus £10 training fee).”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/general-election-2015-explained-who-registers-the-parties-who-counts-your-vote-and-how-much-do-they-10171387.html

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