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The Scottish Parliament (Elections etc.) Order 2015

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Opening of covering envelopes

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20.—(1) When a postal voters’ ballot box is opened, the CRO shall count and record the number of covering envelopes (including any envelope which is stated to include a postal vote and any envelope described in paragraph 18(2)).

(2) The CRO shall open separately each covering envelope (including an envelope described in paragraph 18(2)).

(3) The procedure in paragraph 22 applies where a covering envelope (including any envelope to which paragraph 18(2) applies) contains a postal voting statement.

(4) Where the covering envelope does not contain the postal voting statement separately, the CRO shall open the ballot paper envelope to ascertain whether the postal voting statement is inside.

(5) Where a covering envelope does not contain a postal voting statement (whether separately or not), the CRO shall mark the covering envelope “provisionally rejected”, attach its contents (if any) and place it in the receptacle for rejected votes.

(6) In carrying out the procedures in this paragraph and paragraphs 22 to 26, the CRO and the CRO’s staff—

(a)shall keep the ballot papers face downwards and shall take all proper precautions for preventing any person from seeing the votes made on the ballot papers; and

(b)shall not be permitted to view the corresponding number list used at the issue of postal ballot papers.

(7) Where an envelope opened in accordance with sub-paragraph (2) contains a postal voting statement, the CRO shall place a mark in the marked copy of the postal voters list or proxy postal voters list in a place corresponding to the number of the elector to denote that a postal vote has been returned.

(8) A mark made under sub-paragraph (7) shall be distinguishable from and shall not obscure the mark made under paragraph 8(1) or (3)(a).

(9) As soon as practicable after the last covering envelope has been opened, the CRO shall make up into a packet the copy of the postal voters list and proxy postal voters list that have been marked in accordance with sub-paragraph (7) and shall seal the packet.

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