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The Police and Crime Commissioner Elections Order 2012

Draft Legislation:

This is a draft item of legislation. This draft has since been made as a UK Statutory Instrument: The Police and Crime Commissioner Elections Order 2012 No. 1917

Verification of ballot paper accounts
Attendance at verification

48.—(1) The local returning officer must make arrangements for the verification of the ballot paper accounts in the presence of the counting agents as soon as practicable after the close of the poll.

(2) The local returning officer must give the counting agents notice in writing of the time and place at which the verification of the ballot paper accounts will begin.

(3) A person may be present at the verification of the ballot paper accounts only if—

(a)the person is within paragraph (4), or

(b)the person is permitted by the local returning officer to attend.

(4) The persons within this paragraph are—

(a)the police area returning officer and the local returning officer;

(b)the clerks of either officer;

(c)the candidates and one other person chosen by each of them;

(d)the election agents;

(e)the counting agents;

(f)persons who are entitled to attend by virtue of any of sections 6A to 6D of the 2000 Act.

(5) The local returning officer may give a person permission under paragraph (3)(b) only if the local returning officer is satisfied that the person’s attendance will not impede the efficient verification of the ballot paper accounts.

(6) The local returning officer must give the counting agents all such reasonable facilities for overseeing the proceedings, and all such information with respect to them, as the local returning officer can give them consistently with the orderly conduct of the proceedings and the discharge of the local returning officer’s duties.

Procedure at verification of ballot paper accounts

49.—(1) The local returning officer must, in the presence of the counting agents—

(a)open the ballot boxes from each polling station and count and record the number of ballot papers in each box;

(b)verify each ballot paper account;

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

(2) A postal ballot paper is not to be taken to be duly returned unless—

(a)it is returned in the manner specified in paragraph 43(1) or (2) of Schedule 2 and, before the close of the poll, it reached the local returning officer or a polling station in the voting area for which the officer acts,

(b)the postal voting statement, duly signed, is also returned in the manner specified in paragraph 43(1) or (2) of Schedule 2 and, before the close of the poll, it reached the local returning officer or a polling station in the voting area for which the officer acts,

(c)the postal voting statement also states the date of birth of the elector or proxy (as the case may be), and

(d)in a case where an elector’s or proxy’s date of birth and signature are to be verified in accordance with paragraph 51 or 52 of Schedule 2, the local returning officer verifies the date of birth and signature of the elector or proxy (as the case may be).

(3) The local returning officer, while counting and recording the number of ballot papers, must keep the ballot papers with their faces upwards and take all proper precautions for preventing anyone from seeing the numbers or other unique identifying marks printed on the back of the papers.

(4) Unless otherwise directed by the police area returning officer, the local returning officer must determine the hours during which the procedure under this rule is to be carried out and must take proper precautions for the security of the ballot papers and documents.

(5) The local returning officer must—

(a)verify each ballot paper account by comparing it with the number of ballot papers recorded by the local returning officer, and the unused and spoilt ballot papers in the local returning officer’s possession and the tendered votes list (opening and resealing the packets containing the unused and spoilt ballot papers and the tendered votes list);

(b)draw up a statement as to the result of the verification.

(6) Once the statement is drawn up the local returning officer must inform the police area returning officer of the contents of the statement.

(7) Any counting agent present at the verification may copy the statement.

Additional steps: verification and count carried out at different places

50.—(1) This rule applies where the votes at a PCC election are to be counted at a place other than that at which the procedures for the verification of the ballot paper accounts are carried out.

(2) The local returning officer must on completing the procedure under rule 49

(a)make up into packets the ballot papers and the postal ballot papers for the PCC election and seal them up into containers endorsing on each the description of the voting area and the police area to which those ballot papers relate; and

(b)deliver or cause to be delivered to the place at which the counting of the votes is to be carried out—

(i)those containers together with a list of them and of the contents of each, and

(ii)the ballot paper accounts together with a copy of the statement as to the result of their verification.

(3) If the packets are not delivered by the local returning officer personally, their delivery must be in accordance with arrangements approved by the police area returning officer.

(4) The police area returning officer may give a local returning officer for any voting area wholly or partly comprised in the police area directions which, once the packets have been delivered to the place where the votes at the PCC election are to be counted, require the local returning officer to take specified steps for the carrying out of further specified verification procedures in relation to the ballot papers and other documents relating to the PCC election.

(5) In paragraph (4), “specified” means specified by the police area returning officer in directions given under that paragraph.

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