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GLA Election 2012 - Postal Vote Opening

Training for staff

Glen Oldfield

on 5 October 2016

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Transcript of GLA Election 2012 - Postal Vote Opening

The anatomy of a postal vote
Glen Oldfield

Postal Vote Supervisor
Step 1 – Counting the received ‘B’ envelopes

Each day the Royal Mail will deliver postal votes returned by Barking and Dagenham electors. The received ‘B’ envelopes must be counted and the total recorded by the postal vote supervisor.

We cannot move to the next part of the process until we have an accurate total for the day’s session.
Step 2 – Slitting the ‘B’ envelopes

Next we will slit the ‘B’ envelope and remove the ‘A’ envelope which should have the postal vote statement attached. The 'B' envelope will be discarded and you will make piles of ‘A’ envelopes.
Sequencing !!

When removing the PVS from the 'A' envelope, the PVS and ‘A’ envelopes will fall into a sequence that CANNOT be disrupted. As you go through both piles the PVS will always correspond to the ‘A’ envelope that it belongs to.

If the sequence is broken then stage 6 of the process becomes very problematic.
Step 5 – Scanning

We will have two scanner operators for each opening session. The scanners will identify rejected votes which will need to be removed from the process and logged by the supervisors.

Votes will be rejected if the signature does not match, the date of birth is incorrect, or the pVS is incomplete.
Scenario 1 – Missing PVS

At this stage of the process if there is no postal vote statement attached you will need to alert a supervisor who will grant you permission to check inside the ‘A’ envelope. If the postal vote statement (PVS) cannot be found this vote will be removed from the process and marked as provisionally rejected to be matched later. If the PVS is found inside the ‘A’ envelope put it to one side so that it can be re-introduced at the next stage of the process.
Step 6 – Filtering out rejected ballots

You will receive a bundle of PVS and a bundle of ‘A’ envelopes along with copies of the batch reports for each bundle. The batch report will identify which of the ‘A’ envelopes are valid and which are rejected.

Your task is to go through both bundles to remove the rejected PVS and corresponding ‘A’ envelopes, maintaining the sequence of both piles as you go.
Step 7 – Slitting envelope A

You will receive a pile of valid ‘A’ envelopes, your task is to open the envelope without damaging the ballot papers inside. You will then take out the ballots and cross-reference the ballot paper number with the number on the front of the ‘A’ envelope. Once checked, you will place the ballots face down in separate piles and discard the ‘A’ envelopes.
Step 8 – the final count

You will now have three piles of ballot papers. You will place these ballots into clear plastic wallets with a completed batch header form. The wallets will then be placed in the relevant pile on the centre the table.

Once all of the wallets are together the ballots will be double counted ahead of them being placed in the Ballot Box.
the process...
Step 9 – Securing the Ballot Boxes

Once all received postal votes for the day’s session have been processed and are ready to be sent to the count, the Ballot Paper Account will be completed by the postal vote supervisor and the ballot box(es) sealed and kept in secure storage overnight.

This marks the end of the postal vote opening session and you will be asked to complete the attendance sheet before leaving.
Step 4 – Completing batch header forms

By this time you will have two piles and you will need to prepare them for the scanner; this will require you to complete batch header forms. Using a pencil, you will fill in…

• the number in the batch
• the time and date
• your initials

Once completed, you will place both the PVS and ‘A’ envelopes into the scanning tray.

All sessions begin @ 10am and take place in the Chamber. the dates of the sessions are as follows:

24, 25, 26, 27, 28 , 30th April and 1, 2, 3rd May (2pm)

If you don't sign-in, you will not be paid!
when you arrive and leave a session you must sign in and out.
Step 3 – Removing the PVS from the ‘A’ envelope

You will be given 50 ballot papers at a time. Your task is to tear along the perforated line to remove the PVS, making two piles - one containing postal vote statements, the other ‘A’ envelopes.
Clean edges

It is very important that the PVS is removed carefully ensuring that the bottom edge is straight; otherwise the PVS will not pass through the scanner.
The process must be open for all observers to witness
Chamber, Civic Centre

There is to be no food or drink allowed in the Chamber. You will be given a 1 hour lunch break and other smaller breaks, as required.
We must be able to account for every vote
Throughout the process if anything seems out of the ordinary please bring it to the attention of a postal vote supervisor.

It is much better to query something than to make a mistake or miss an important detail or part of the process.
Protecting the secrecy of the vote

At all times it is important that we try our best to protect the secrecy of the vote. When removing ballot papers from the ‘A’ envelope, place them face-down and keep them face-down when counting.
Scenario 1 – Missing Postal Vote Statement (PVS)

At this stage of the process if there is no postal vote statement attached you will need to alert a supervisor who may grant you permission to check inside the ‘A’ envelope.
Scenario 5 – Ballot papers from other regions

It is possible that we will receive postal votes from another electing constituency. When checking that the ballot papers match the elector's ID, take the time to check the constituency from which the ballot was issued. It should read City and East.
Scenario 4 – Ballot paper mis-match

Upon removing the ballot papers from the ‘A’ envelopes you notice that a ballot paper number does not match that of its 'A' envelope.

If this occurs you must pass the ‘A’ envelope and mis-matched ballot paper(s) to a supervisor.
Scenario 3 – Missing (or extra) ballot papers

Each elector will be given three ballots but for whatever reason may not return all of those, or in larger households may return more than three.

You must ensure every ‘A’ envelope you open at stage 6 of the process has three ballot papers enclosed and that all three ballot papers match the numbers on the 'A' envelope.

Where there are missing or extra ballots, pass the ‘A’ envelope and its contents to the supervisor
two volunteers, please
What's inside?
'B' Envelope
'A' Envelope
Postal Vote Statement
Thank you!
GLA Election 2012
Training for...
to understand the process of opening postal votes
to understand scenarios where the process may need to be adapted
Adapting the process
Key facts
18,000 votes issued (approx.)
we expect between 50-75% back
Read the secrecy agreement and complete the staff registration form before you leave today!
Scenario 2 - PVS / 'A' envelope mismatch

Where a PVS is not attached to the 'A' envelope but is recovered you will need to check that the numbers match.

If they do match, proceed to the next stage.

If they do not match, that vote is removed from the process to be matched by the supervisors.
Full transcript