Month: December 2016
Yesterday, the voter ID debate took off in Britain. Here are some analysis on the Democratic Audit blog:
‘Christmas is a time for tinsel, presents and major policy announcements about British electoral law, it seems. Yesterday, the government announced it would accept many of the policy proposals laid out by Eric Pickles in his report on Securing the Ballot. The headlines focussed on the decision to pilot a requirement for voters to show ID before being given their ballot paper in polling stations…..’
Read it all here
The Scottish Parliament Select Committee on Local Government and Communities is undertaking a review of the payments made to Returning Officers for their work at elections.
Concerns were raised in the media about the amount of money that Returning Officers receive because they are already highly paid officials.
In my evidence, I suggest that Returning Officers play:
‘3. …an essential role in the electoral process. They face an increasingly challenging job. They have therefore been able to reclaim a fee for their services to recognise that their role is independent of their other tasks. Some Returning Officers use their fee to pay more junior staff, who work hours above and beyond their normal duties at election time, there should be caution in scrapping or making rapid reductions to it.
4. It is, however, right that the fee is regularly reviewed, especially in the context of resource constraints within electoral services and wider public sector austerity. There might be some opportunity to divert resources to other areas of elections.
5. There should… be a wider review of funding of elections in Scotland and the rest of the UK. Essential to this is the routine reporting of funding and spending to ensure transparency, increase public confidence and allow an analysis of areas requiring further investment or efficiency savings.’