1. Observe the election process in the various English local and mayoral elections.
  2. Advise election officials, legislators, and the UK’s Electoral Commission on the results of the observation for the improvement of electoral practice.
  3. Support these election bodies with constructive feedback on areas of concern so that they may consider remedial action.


On May 4th, Democracy Volunteers deployed more than 150 observers, and support team, of the 376 Democracy Volunteers observers accredited with the UK’s Electoral Commission. The organisation deployed across 118 of the 230 councils holding elections in England. These observers generally formed teams of two (sometimes three), and attended 879 polling stations, across all the regions of England. No elections were being held in Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales on May 4th.

These observers spent between 30 and 45 minutes at each polling venue observing the process and then completed one survey for each polling station.

In general, teams attended between 10 and 15 polling stations in their day.

As can be seen in the infographic below, Democracy Volunteers’ observers saw 1.2% of those attending polling stations turned away because they lacked the relevant ID, or were judge to not have it. Of those turned away 53% were identified by our observers as being ‘non-white passing’. Our team also did see others allowed to vote despite not having ID.

Family voting continues to be a challenge in polling stations, with our observers recording it 17% of polling stations, affecting 4.3% of those voters we observed.

More details can be found in the report below.

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