Written evidence submitted by Bristol
1. We are writing in full support of the proposed
draft electoral administrative provision presented to Parliament
in July 2011.
2. The current position where Electoral Services
teams could have to deliver the complex parliamentary election
event at 17 working days notice, is an almost impossible task.
3. A parliamentary election is an extremely detailed,
precise event with a timetable containing absolute deadlines.
For the Bristol electorate of approximately 310,000, we employ
1,000 election day staff, run 156 polling stations, and run four
major counts. We plan to be in a constant state of readiness however
an extension of the timetable to 25 working days would be very
welcome, and would significantly reduce risk. We would also welcome
any further extension.
4. We therefore also fully support the proposals
a number of deadlines within the timetable, in particular the
date for delivery of nominations.
more time for the postal vote process.
the electoral timetable for UK parliamentary by elections:
to take place between 17 and 19 rather than nine and 11 working
days after the last day for delivery of nomination papers.
extended timetable also allows for polling day to be set for a
the timetable for polls which are re-run due to the death of a
fresh poll will take place between 21 and 27 rather than 15 and
19 working days after the day on which the election writ is taken
to have been received.
5. We support the proposals of altering registers
pending elections ie people applying to be added to the register
of electors, close to the registration deadline prior to an election.
We understand that the changes will enable more postal ballot
papers for those people to be issued earlier, ie closer to the
days when other postal vote ballot papers are issued for those
already on the register.
6. We also support the proposals to make changes
to the timing of polling place, and polling district reviews to
bring them into line with five year fixed term Parliaments with
the compulsory review periods. We do as a matter of practice carry
out mini reviews following each election. However major reviews
require a significant input of Electoral Services time and must
be programmed carefully to avoid impacting on major events such
as the annual canvass and elections.
7. Our own experience of candidates demonstrates
that some are members of more than one registered political party.
It seems eminently sensible that at UK Parliamentary elections
where candidates are jointly nominated by two or more registered
political parties that they be allowed to use on the ballot paper
an emblem registered by one of the nominating parties.