How well did our Election Officer do in 2015? So badly East Devon ended up in a highly critical Electoral Commission report

Remember, EDDC Electoral Officer (Mark Williams, CEO) has been doing this job for years, gets paid extra for it, his budget spending on it is secret it and he cannot be scrutinised by a Freedom of Information request. AND he “lost” 6,000 voters in the previous election, which caused him to be hauled before a Parliamentary Scrutiny Committee!

Report: Electoral Commission
Assessment of the performance of Returning Officers at the May 2015 polls

“East Devon

In East Devon a number of issues arose during the election; we have assessed that the RO did not meet elements of the performance standards with regards to the following issues:

• incorrect instructions on postal voting statements in a number of wards, which wrongly advised electors to vote for one candidate only in wards where there were two or three candidates to be elected

• the initial process put in place for opening returned postal voters’ ballot papers as a result of the incorrect information on the postal voting
statements was in contravention of both our guidance and the relevant legislation

We concluded that the RO did not meet elements of performance standard 1 and 2 because of the impact that the postal voting statement error may have had on voters, through potential confusion and consequently on their confidence that their vote would be counted as intended.

In addition, and resulting from this error, the initial process followed on the first day of the opening of postal voters’ ballot papers (when 172 covering envelopes were received) was in contradiction to both our guidance and the legislation.

This practice was stopped the following day when we brought the infringement of the legislation to the attention of the RO. This also may have impacted on the confidence of those standing for election in the administration of the election.”

Click to access Assessment-of-the-performance-of-Returning-Officers-at-the-May-2015-polls.pdf