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The General Osteopathic Council (Election of Members and Chairman of Council) Rules Order of Council 2001

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SCHEDULE 1RULES FOR THE CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS AND BY-ELECTIONS OF MEMBERS TO THE GENERAL OSTEOPATHIC COUNCIL

Preliminary

1.—(a) The Council shall appoint the Registrar or some other person (not being a member of the Council) to act as Returning Officer, and the Returning Officer shall appoint a Deputy Returning Officer (who shall not be a member of the Council) to act for him in his absence.

(b)The Returning Officer may, subject to the approval of the Council, delegate such administrative functions relating to the conduct of elections under these rules as he may deem appropriate to Electoral Reform (Ballot Services) Limited or to such similar body or person as he may appoint for the purpose.

2.  The Returning Officer shall fix the last day on which nomination forms may be returned and at least 14 days before that day shall cause a notice of the election to be brought by such means as he considers appropriate to the attention of registered osteopaths entitled to vote in the election at their registered addresses. The notice may contain such information as the Council may determine and shall specify the number of persons to be elected, the place to which nomination forms are to be returned and the last day on which they are to be returned.

Categories of candidates

3.  There shall be five categories of candidates, namely one for each country of the United Kingdom and one for candidates offering themselves for election under paragraph 9(3) of the Schedule to the Act.

Nomination

4.—(a) Each candidate for election shall be nominated in one of the categories referred to in paragraph 3 by not less than two fully registered osteopaths who shall separately sign a nomination form to be provided for the purpose, upon application, by the Returning Officer.

(b)Nomination forms shall be in such medium as the Council shall determine and shall contain the name, registered address and registration details both of the candidate and of the nominators, together with a declaration signed by the candidate that he consents to be nominated and will accept office if duly elected.

(c)Each nomination form shall be accompanied by a photograph of the candidate and by such further information, including a personal statement not exceeding 100 words in length by the candidate, as the Council shall determine.

5.  Any person entitled to vote in the election may nominate any number of candidates not exceeding the number to be elected and if he signs more than the permitted number of nomination forms, his signature shall be inoperative in all but those forms up to the permitted number which are first received by the Returning Officer.

6.  Every nomination form shall, on or before the last day fixed for the return of nomination forms, be delivered, by such means as the Council may determine, to the place appointed for the purpose in the notice of the election. A nomination form so delivered may be withdrawn by notice in writing signed by the candidate and delivered to the Returning Officer on or before that day. Every nomination form which is not received at the appointed place on or before that day, or in respect of which any requirement of these rules has not been complied with, shall be invalid.

7.  If a candidate remaining validly nominated dies or for any other reason becomes ineligible for election to or membership of the Council before the last day fixed for the sending in of nomination forms, his nomination shall be treated as having been withdrawn.

Voting

8.  If the number of candidates remaining validly nominated in respect of any of the categories referred to in paragraph 3 at the last day for the return of nomination forms does not exceed the number of persons to be elected for that category, the Returning Officer shall forthwith declare the candidate or candidates elected.

9.  If the number of candidates remaining validly nominated in respect of any of the categories referred to in paragraph 3 exceeds the number of persons to be elected, the Returning Officer shall prepare voting forms. Voting forms shall, as well as containing such information as the Council shall determine, state the names and registered addresses of all the candidates nominated for the election, the category for which they are offering themselves for election, the last day on which voting forms may be returned and the place to which and the means by which they are to be returned.

10.  The Returning Officer shall fix the last day for the return of voting forms and at least 14 days before that day shall provide a voting form to each person entitled to vote at that election at his registered address with directions for returning the form to the place at which voting forms are returnable. Each voter shall be entitled to complete one voting form, and no more, and a vote shall not be valid unless it is made in the voting form provided by the Returning Officer.

11.—(a) Each voter:

(i)shall have one single transferable vote and in recording his vote must place on his voting form the figure 1 against the name of the candidate for whom he votes and

(ii)may in addition indicate his preference for as many of the other candidates as he pleases by placing against their names the figures 2, 3, 4 and so on, in the order of his choice.

(b)A voting form shall be invalid if:

(i)it does not contain the figure 1 against the name of any candidate, or

(ii)it contains the figure 1 and any other figure or mark against the name of the same candidate, or

(iii)the first preference of the voter cannot be determined from it;

(c)A voting form shall be considered to have become a non-transferable form if it cannot be determined for which of the remaining candidates the next available preference is recorded.

12.  The voter must return the voting form by the last day fixed for the return of the voting forms, through the post or otherwise as the Council shall determine, to the place at which voting forms are returnable.

General procedure

13.  Immediately after the last day fixed for the return of voting forms, the Returning Officer shall:

(i)ascertain the validity of the votes;

(ii)sort the valid voting forms in accordance with the first preferences recorded for each candidate;

(iii)credit each candidate with the number of valid forms on which a first preference has been recorded against his name;

(iv)ascertain the total number of valid forms; and

(v)calculate the quota.

Calculation of quota

14.  The quota shall be calculated as follows: divide the total number of valid voting forms by one more than the number of places to be filled. If the result is not less than 100, ignore the remainder, and add one. If the result is less than 100 continue the division to two decimal places, ignore the remainder, and add 0.01.

Transfers of votes

15.  Whenever any transfer is made each set of votes transferred shall be added to the votes, if any, previously credited to the candidate to whom the transfer is made, and that candidate shall be credited with a number of votes equal to the combined value of the votes thus transferred. Non-transferable forms shall be set aside separately, together with any other forms already found to be non-transferable.

Distribution of a surplus

16.  If at the end of any count more than one candidate has a surplus, the largest surplus shall be dealt with first. Where the number of votes credited to a candidate is greater than the quota the surplus shall be transferred, as specified by these rules, to the remaining candidates for whom the next available preferences have been recorded on the voting forms in the set or sub-set last received by the elected candidate, in the following manner:

(a)If the votes credited to an elected candidate consist of original votes only, the Returning Officer shall examine all the voting forms contained in the set of the elected candidate whose surplus is to be transferred.

(b)If the votes credited to an elected candidate consist of original and transferred votes, or of transferred votes only, the Returning Officer shall examine the voting forms contained in the sub-set last received by the elected candidate whose surplus is to be transferred.

(c)In either case the Returning Officer shall sort the transferable forms into sub-sets according to the next available preferences recorded thereon, shall make a separate sub-set of the non-transferable forms and shall ascertain the total number of transferable forms.

(d)If the total number of transferable forms is greater than the surplus the Returning Officer shall calculate the new reduced value of each transferable form by dividing the surplus by the total number of transferable forms to two decimal places. If not exactly divisible the hundredth lower shall be used and the value remaining shall be recorded on the counting sheet against the designation “non-distributable remainder”. The new value shall then be clearly recorded in respect of each transferable form.

(e)If the total number of transferable forms in the sub-set is less than or equal to the surplus, the Returning Officer shall transfer the whole of each sub-set of transferable votes to the remaining candidate indicated in the voting forms as the voters' next available preference at the value at which they were received from the previously elected candidate.

Elimination of candidates

17.—(a) If at the end of any count no candidate has a surplus and one or more vacancies remain unfilled, the Returning Officer shall eliminate from the pool the candidate credited with the lowest number of votes, shall examine all the voting forms containing votes for that candidate, shall sort the transferable votes into sub-sets according to the next available preferences recorded thereon for remaining candidates, shall transfer each sub-set to the candidate for whom that preference is recorded, taking into account any differing values of the votes thus transferred, and shall make a separate sub-set of the non-transferable votes.

(b)If the total of the votes of the two or more candidates lowest on the poll is less than the number of votes credited to the next highest candidate the Returning Officer may at the same count eliminate those lowest candidates from the poll, and transfer their votes as provided in this rule.

(c)If, when a candidate has to be eliminated, two or more candidates have each the same number of votes and are lowest on the poll, the candidate with the lowest number of votes at the earliest count at which the candidates in question had an unequal number of votes shall be eliminated, and, where the number of votes credited to those candidates were equal at all counts, the Returning Officer shall determine by lot which shall be eliminated.

Election of candidates

18.—(a) If at the end of any count the number of votes credited to a candidate is equal to or greater than the quota, that candidate shall thereupon be elected.

(b)If at the end of any count the number of elected candidates is equal to the number of vacancies to be filled, no further transfer of votes shall be made.

(c)If, on the elimination of a candidate or candidates, the number of the then remaining candidates is equal to the number of vacancies unfilled, the remaining candidates shall thereupon be elected and no further transfer of votes shall be made.

Recounting of voting forms

19.—(a) At the end of any count, any candidate may, if present, request the Returning Officer to re-examine and re-count all or any of the voting forms dealt with during that count, and the Returning Officer shall forthwith re-examine and re-count accordingly the forms indicated.

(b)The Returning Officer may also, at his discretion, re-count voting forms either once or more often in any case in which he is not satisfied of the accuracy of any previous counting of the votes: Provided that nothing herein shall make it obligatory on the Returning Officer to re-count the same voting forms more than once.

(c)On any re-count, subject to such modifications as may be necessary by reason of any error in the original counting of the votes, each voting form shall take the same course as at the original counting of the votes.

General

20.  The Returning Officer shall forthwith give to every candidate, whether or not elected, written notice of the result of the election, and shall furnish to the Council at their first meeting thereafter a list of the persons certified by him to have been duly elected and, in the case of a contested election, a record of any transfer of votes made under these rules, and of the total number of votes credited to each candidate after any such transfer.

21.  No election held under these rules shall be invalidated by reason of any misdescription or non-compliance with these provisions, or by reason of any miscount, or of the non-delivery, loss or miscarriage in the course of post of any document required under these rules to be sent by post, if it appears to the Returning Officer that the election was conducted substantially in accordance with these rules, and that the result of such misdescription, non-compliance, miscount, non-delivery, loss or miscarriage did not affect the return of any candidate at the election.

22.  The decision of the Returning Officer shall be final on any matter concerning an election held in conformity with these rules, including any matter concerning the validity of a nomination or voting form.

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