Observing elections to improve democracy
Democracy Volunteers deployed teams across the five councils conducting Voter ID Pilots on May 3rd. Teams of observers were deployed as follows:
The number of polling stations to visit differed dramatically between the council areas and this explains the differences in deployed team size. As such the number of polling stations observed across the five councils was:
This meant the 29 observers visited 56% of the polling stations across the five council areas.
As well as observers from the United Kingdom (15), teams that covered these councils included election experts and experienced observers from Republic of Ireland (3), Russia (3), Germany (2), Canada (1), France (1), Hungary (1), Lithuania (1), Italy (1) and Poland (1). All observers were accredited by the Electoral Commission to observe the elections.
Observers attended polling stations in teams of two. This started with the opening of polls at 7am and ended at 10pm. Observations lasted no less than 30 minutes and no more than 45 minutes per polling station. On exiting the polling station, the two observers completed an online form with their immediate report of their observations at that polling station.
The possible case of personation in Bromley was observed when an elector attended the polling station with appropriate ID (his passport) and was told that ‘he’ had already voted using another form of ID (a freedom pass). This form of ID is generally only available to those over the age of 60 – which the voter was clearly not. As such, despite attending with his passport he was unable to vote despite the ID requirements.
The observer team said they would make a note of the event and the voter was able to able to cast a tendered ballot which will, in almost all circumstances, never be counted. Voter ID did not prevent personation in this circumstance.