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The Scottish Parliament (Elections etc.) Order 2015

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55.—(1) The CRO shall—

(a)in the presence of the counting agents appointed for the purposes of the election, open each ballot box and count and record separately the number of constituency ballot papers and the number of regional ballot papers there are in each box;

(b)in the presence of the election agents appointed for the purposes of the election, verify each ballot paper account; and

(c)count such of the postal ballot papers as have been duly returned and record separately the number of constituency postal ballot papers counted and the number of regional postal ballot papers counted.

(2) A postal ballot paper shall not be deemed to be duly returned unless it is returned—

(a)by hand to a polling station in the same constituency; or

(b)by hand or by post to the CRO,

before the close of the poll and is accompanied by the postal voting statement duly signed and which also states the date of birth of the elector or proxy (as the case may be).

(3) A postal ballot paper shall not be deemed to be duly returned unless the CRO verifies the date of birth and signature of the elector or proxy (as the case may be).

(4) The CRO shall not count any tendered ballot paper.

(5) The CRO shall not count the votes given on any ballot papers until—

(a)in the case of constituency postal ballot papers, they have been mixed with constituency ballot papers from at least one ballot box;

(b)in the case of constituency ballot papers from a ballot box, they have been mixed with constituency ballot papers from at least one other ballot box;

(c)in the case of regional postal ballot papers, they have been mixed with regional ballot papers from at least one ballot box; and

(d)in the case of regional ballot papers from a ballot box, they have been mixed with regional ballot papers from at least one other ballot box.

(6) The CRO, while counting and recording the number of ballot papers and counting the votes, shall take all proper precautions for preventing any person from identifying the voter who cast the vote.

(7) The CRO shall verify each ballot paper account by comparing it with the number of ballot papers recorded by the CRO, and the unused and spoilt ballot papers in the CRO’s possession and the tendered votes list (opening and resealing the packets containing the unused and spoilt ballot papers and the tendered votes list) and shall draw up a statement as to the result of the verification and shall, on request, supply a copy of that statement to any election agent appointed for the purpose of that election.

(8) The CRO shall so far as practicable proceed continuously with counting the votes, allowing only time for refreshment, except that the CRO may, in so far as the CRO and the counting agents appointed for the purpose of that election agree, exclude any or all of the hours between 7 pm and 9 am the following day.

(9) For the purposes of the exception in paragraph (8) the agreement of—

(a)a candidate for return as a constituency member or the election agent of such a candidate; or

(b)an individual candidate for return as a regional member or the election agent of such a candidate or the election agent of a registered party standing nominated,

shall be as effective as the agreement of the counting agent of that candidate or, as the case may be, registered party.

(10) During the time so excluded the CRO shall—

(a)place the ballot papers and other documents relating to the election under the CRO’s own seal and the seals of such of the counting agents as desire to affix their seals; and

(b)otherwise take proper precautions for the security of the papers, equipment and documents.

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