PRELIMINARY STATEMENT – UK General Election 12/12/19

Palace of WestminsterDemocracy Volunteers has today conducted polling station observations across the UK. Given the high level of interest in the election, Democracy Volunteers accredited and deployed a team of 200 observers across over 120 parliamentary constituencies in all the nations of the UK and all the English regions.

The short term observers, recruited from over 40 countries and territories from around the world, were trained and deployed by a core team of experts who were deployed for up to 5 weeks on the election observation. The observers, working in teams of two, visited 1004 polling stations, staying between 30 and 45 minutes in each. In each observation, our teams assessed the process for administering the ballot and how the staff interacted with the public. Once they had completed their observations they filled out an online survey providing a stream of live data for the core team.

Overall, the observer team was  impressed with the organisation and administration of polling stations throughout the day by polling staff. However, there were some specific problems in many areas that will be reported on in the final report in the coming weeks.

Commenting, Director of Democracy Volunteers and Head of Mission, Dr John Ault, said; ‘Our observers have delivered the single largest observation of a UK general election in history. They discovered good administration in many areas but because of the hurried nature of the election and the difficulties in preparing an election in the Winter months, many electoral officials have faced challenges in delivering the election successfully.’

‘However, some of the issues identified by our observers today, have not been associated with the timing of the election and will be assessed more closely in our final report.’

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