Has our Electoral Officer messed up again?

EDW comment:

I’d like to thank Mark Williams but I cannot. As we will be away for the European elections we applied for a postal vote. We had a letter on Tuesday from MW graciously allowing us our democratic right and saying that voting papers will follow.. Today’s post was the last opportunity but no voting papers have arrived. Thus we have been deprived of our vote. It seems that in his case past performance is a guide to the future! I wonder who will blame this time?”

Why are EDDC district council results SO slow!

Started at 10 am, Four results by 11.30 am, nothing since … at this rate 6pm finish is looking optimistic …

Mark Williams, CEO and Returning Officer, is paid extra to supervise results. We don’t know how much as election officers and how they spend their allocated budgets are not subject to Freedom of Information requests.

But we do know, the more counters the quicker the results … the fewer counters more left in an EDDC account that can be used for anything else.

To vote in European elections you must register by 7 May 2019

There are two main elections that are being held in East Devon next month. District, town and parish elections are on Thursday 2 May, and a European Parliamentary election is on Thursday 23 May.

Poll cards for the district, town and parish elections have now been sent out to registered voters in the district who are reminded to carefully check where their polling station is.

East Devon District Council is also preparing for the European Parliamentary election following the delay to Britain leaving the European Union. The election will take place unless Britain leaves the EU before.

These elections are conducted by the regional returning officer in Bournemouth with East Devon District Council producing poll cards and postal votes, and running the polling stations, and a local count which will take place on Sunday, 26 May.

The deadline to register to vote for the European elections is Tuesday 7 May and the quickest way to register is by using the government registration website – it takes just five minutes.

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

All you will need to complete the online process is your National Insurance number.

Please remember that you must re-register to vote if you have changed your address, your name or nationality. People only need to register once – they do not need to register separately for every election.

If you want to check if you are registered to vote or you would like to register by completing a paper form, then please contact the East Devon Electoral Services Helpline on 01395 571529 or email electoralservices@eastdevon.gov.uk

If you’re a citizen of a European Union country (other than the UK, Republic of Ireland, Malta and Cyprus), you can either vote in European Parliamentary elections in the UK or in your home country. You cannot vote twice. To vote in the UK, you need to be registered to vote and complete a form stating that you wish to vote in the UK and not in your home country. You can download the EU citizen European Parliament voter registration form at the Your Vote Matters website.

After completing the form, you need to send it to East Devon District Council’s Electoral Services team at Blackdown House, Border Road, Heathpark Industrial Estate, Honiton, EX14 1EJ. It must be received by Tuesday 7 May.

East Devon voters wanting a postal vote for the European election must apply by 5pm on Wednesday, 8 May. To apply, please use the form available at the government postal voting application page.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-a-postal-vote

If you wish to cancel or amend your existing postal vote, the team must be told about this in writing no later than 5pm on Wednesday, 8 May.

Applications to appoint a proxy must be received by the council’s Electoral Services team by 5pm on Wednesday, 15 May. Proxy voters will be required to attend your polling station to vote on your behalf. Application forms can be found on the Your Vote Matters proxy vote application page.”

http://eastdevon.gov.uk/news/2019/04/east-devon-preparing-for-two-main-elections-next-month-the-district-town-and-parish-elections-on-thursday-2-may-and-the-european-parliamentary-elections-on-thursday-23-may/

EDDC lays down the law on Ian Thomas defection

“… Mark Williams, East Devon District Council’s chief executive, said: “This is a personal decision taken by councillor Thomas. From a returning officer perspective the election for the Trinity ward will continue.

“Cllr Thomas has been validly nominated to stand in the Trinity Ward and the ballot papers will show that he is standing as a Conservative candidate as this was the basis on which he was nominated. The change in circumstances does not countermand the election process and it will go ahead on May 2.

“From a chief executive perspective, cllr Thomas is the Leader of the Council and remains as such until the circumstances set out in Article 6.03 of the Council’s Constitution occur. These are that either cllr Thomas resigns as leader; is suspended from being a councillor; is no longer a councillor; is removed by resolution of the council; or another leader is elected at the Annual Council Meeting on the May 22.”

https://honiton.nub.news/n/east-devon-council-leader-resigns-party-days-before-election

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.”

https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/190957/Assessment-of-the-performance-of-Returning-Officers-at-the-May-2015-polls.pdf