Observing elections to improve democracy
Twenty teams made up of 73 observers made up in teams of 2, 3 or 4, who were registered with the UK’s Electoral Commission, made 650 separate observations in 485 polling stations across the United Kingdom.
Teams were deployed to all the English regions as well as in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Observers came from around the world, including 10 member states of the European Union and member states of the OSCE (including Canada, The United States of America and Moldova). This international group increased the ranks of Democracy Volunteers to produce the largest electoral observation of polling stations in UK electoral history.
Each observation was conducted in pairs to allow for objective observation and the observers then agreed their opinions of the electoral process before submitting data to the central team. However, in some of the larger polling stations, most notably in Scotland and Northern Ireland (some having six separate ballot boxes) three or more of the team were deployed. The survey was conducted online so data was collected, and could be checked, live.
The observations generally took between fifteen and thirty minutes per polling station as the observers were asked to ensure that they attempted to see the entire process, which included staff greeting electors on arrival at the polling station. This happened on every occasion.
The organisation of polling stations was generally well run across the UK, voters could clearly see how to access voting and staff were trained to manage the process. We would, however, draw attention to the large scale evidence of ‘family voting’ which the team identified in 18% of polling stations.
Click the link below for the INTERIM REPORT for the UK General Election below.