Democracy Volunteers has today conducted observations across the Brecon and Radnorshire parliamentary constituency. Given the high level of interest in the by-election, Democracy Volunteers deployed a team of six experienced observers across the constituency.
The observers, working in teams of two visited 37 of the 93 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.
The observer team was extremely impressed with the organisation and administration of polling stations throughout the day by polling staff. Polling station staff seemed well prepared to deliver the election, from greeting voters and administering ballot papers to ensuring the secrecy of the ballot. Staff were very welcoming to the observer team and regularly recorded their attendance at their stations.
An ongoing concern of Democracy Volunteers is the observed level of so-called ‘family voting’, whereby individuals lose their right to cast their vote in secret. However, in today’s election, ‘family voting’ was observed in 17% of all polling stations.
Commenting Director of Democracy Volunteers, Dr John Ault, said;
‘Today saw an excellently run polling day by staff in Brecon and Radnorshire and we want to congratulate them for this. Parties have been very active in today’s election. However, we did not see any significant issues concerning their activity.’
“We would like to raise concerns that many polling stations were not fully accessible by disabled voters. Many stations didn’t have the requisite polling booths which should offer lower access for disabled voters. However, overall, this was a well run polling day by the returning officer and their staff.”