Governance

Guild Election Regulations made under Statute 20 - Polling and counting

Guild Election Regulations made under Statute 20

Polling and counting

627(1) Conduct of poll

The poll shall be conducted as follows:

(a) before any vote is taken, the Officer-in-Charge shall exhibit each ballot box empty and shall then securely fasten and seal them so that nothing can be removed without breaking the seal;

(b) the Polling Place shall remain open during the hours prescribed and every voter inside the Polling Place at the time of its closure shall be permitted to vote;

(c) at the close of the poll the Officer-in-Charge shall publicly close, fasten, seal and take charge of the ballot boxes and, with the least possible delay, forward them to the Counting Centre for the purposes of scrutiny, and it should on no account be opened except in accordance with of these Regulations. The cleft shall also be closed and sealed unless the ballot box has an outer cover without a cleft; and

(d) the Officer-in-Charge shall forward to the Counting Centre the marked Electoral Roll (s) used at the poll and any other documents received before or during the poll, having first certified such Electoral Rolls as a true record of the taking of the votes.

627(2) Candidate's responsibilities

(a) Without the express permission of the Returning Officer a Candidate may not attend and remain in the Polling Place other than to cast their own vote.

(b) A Candidate may not attend the count without the express permission of the Returning Officer.

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628 CASTING A VOTE AT GUILD ELECTIONS

628(1) Method of marking ballot papers

Each voter must indicate a first preference for a Candidate by placing the numeral "1" in the square opposite the name of that Candidate. The voter may then show further successive preferences for any or all of the remaining Candidates by placing the numbers 2, 3, 4 and so on, in the squares opposite the names of the remaining Candidates as the case requires.

628(2) Spoilt ballot papers

(a) Where a person who has been issued with a ballot paper satisfies the Issuing Officer that the ballot paper has been spoilt by mistake or accident, the Issuing Officer shall, on receiving the spoilt ballot paper, cancel it and issue to that person another ballot paper.

(b) Where an Issuing Officer cancels a spoilt ballot paper, that officer shall write the word "Spoilt" across the face of the paper, place it in an envelope provided for that purpose, and return it to the Returning Officer with the rest of the Election Material at the close of polling.

628(3) Assistance for disabled voters

A voter who is unable to vote without assistance because of a disability may request any person other than a Candidate or a Scrutineer to provide assistance, which includes marking the ballot paper for the voter in accordance with the voter's instructions.

628(4) Secrecy of vote

Voting is by secret ballot.

628(5) Preliminary scrutiny of postal votes

(a) The Returning Officer may undertake any check that they determine to be necessary, to adjudge whether a postal vote should be included in the count. These checks shall take place at any time that the Returning Officer deems practicable and must ensure that:

(i) a signature appears on the counterfoil;

(ii) the signature matches that which is on the application and the Returning Officer has no reason to doubt its authenticity; and

(iii) the postal ballot paper was received by the close of the poll.

(b) Where the Returning Officer is satisfied that a postal vote should be included in the count they shall:

(i) place a mark against the name of the voter on the Electoral Roll; and

(ii) place the envelope unopened in the postal ballot-box labelled "Admitted to the Count".

(c) Where the Returning Officer is not satisfied that the postal vote should be included in the count, they shall mark the unopened envelope with the word "Rejected" and place it in the postal ballot box labelled "Rejected from the Count".

(d) Where a voter is eligible to have one or more but not all ballot papers included in the count, those ballot papers which are not included in the count shall be placed in a sealed envelope provided for this purpose and set aside as rejected.

628(6) Preliminary scrutiny of provisional votes

(a) The Returning Officer shall make all reasonable enquiries that they deem necessary to ascertain whether provisional votes should be included in the count.

(b) Where the Returning Officer is not satisfied that the provisional vote should be included in the count, they shall mark the unopened envelope with the word "Rejected" and place it in the postal ballot box labelled "Rejected from the Count".

628(7) Times and locations for counts

(a) The Returning Officer shall determine the location and time for the counts.

(b) The Returning Officer may adjourn the count at any time at their absolute discretion.

(c) Counting for the position of Guild President and Senate Representative shall commence as soon as practicable after the close of polls.

(d) Preliminary checking of declaration votes and the sorting (not allocation to Candidates/Groups) of ballot papers may commence as soon as practicable after the close of the poll.

628(8) Order of Election of office bearers

(a) The declarations for various Elections will be conducted in the order listed in Schedule 1.

(b) The Returning Officer may, at their discretion, conduct counts in any order, subject to regulation 628(7)(a) provided the outcome could not be affected by a preceding count, however the declaration of the results of the Elections must still occur in accordance with Schedule 1.

628(9) Commencement of counting and subsequent adjournments

(a) Each adjournment shall be announced to all of the Scrutineers and officers present at that time by the Officer-in-Charge. The time and place for the continuation of the count shall also be advised at that time, if known.

(b) Before every adjournment of the count, all ballot papers and other documents connected with such count shall be placed in one or more ballot boxes, and the officer conducting the count shall then, in the presence of such Scrutineers and officers in attendance, seal the ballot box or boxes. The cleft shall also be closed and sealed unless the ballot box is provided with an outer cover without a cleft.

(c) Before recommencing the count after an adjournment, the seals shall be exhibited unbroken to the Scrutineers and officers present.

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629 CRITERIA FOR FORMALITY

629(1) General

(a) A ballot paper shall not be informal for any reason other than those reasons mentioned in these Regulations.

(b) Without limiting the generality of the method by which a ballot paper may be marked, a vote which is marked on a ballot paper other than in the prescribed manner but which clearly indicates the voter's intention and is not otherwise informal, shall be formal.

(c) A ballot paper shall be informal if it:

(i) is not initialled by the Returning Officer or Issuing Officer;

(ii) has upon it any mark or writing not authorised by these Regulations which, in the opinion of the Returning Officer will enable any person to identify the voter;

(iii) shows no first preference or more than one first preference; and

(iv) has no mark indicated on it, or the surname of any Candidate is omitted from it, or no name of any Candidate is written on it.

(d) Where a Candidate dies between the date of Nomination and the commencement of polling and the number of Candidates remaining is greater than the number of Candidates to be elected, a ballot paper shall not be informal or become exhausted by reason only of the:

(i) inclusion on the ballot paper of the name of the deceased Candidate;

(ii) marking of any consecutive number opposite that name; or

(iii) omission to place any number opposite that name, or of any resultant failure to indicate in consecutive order the voter's preferences.

(e) Where a ballot paper does not carry the Returning Officer's initials, it should still be included in the count provided that the Returning Officer is satisfied that it is on authentic ballot paper.

(f) Where a tick or cross is the sole mark on the ballot paper, it shall be taken to indicate a first preference for the Candidate or Group concerned.

(g) Where ticks, crosses and other marks are mixed on the same ballot paper it shall be treated as informal.

(h) Where further preferences cease to be cast or a duplication or omission in the sequence occurs, that ballot paper becomes exhausted at that point.

(i) Where 2 or more ballot papers are printed on one piece of paper, the presence of any mark or writing identifying the voter makes the votes on each ballot paper informal. Informality on one ballot paper for other reasons does not extend to other ballot papers on the same piece of paper.

629(2) Specific formality of declaration votes

A postal or provisional ballot paper which is not enclosed in its declaration/return envelope (not ballot paper envelope) is informal.

629(3) Objections by Scrutineers

(a) A Scrutineer may make submissions in relation to any ballot paper that the ballot paper is formal or informal and the Officer-in-Charge shall endorse the paper as "Rejected" or "Admitted" according to their decision to admit or reject the ballot paper. Where an officer makes such an endorsement, they shall initial the endorsement.

(b) Nothing in this regulation 629(3) prevents the Officer-in-Charge, in the absence of a submission by a Scrutineer, from rejecting any ballot paper as being informal or from admitting a ballot paper to the count.

629(4) Method of counting votes for a position other than Guild Councillor

The method of counting votes for a position other than a Guild Councillor shall be optional proportional representation as interpreted by the Returning Officer having regard to Schedule 2.

629(5) Method of counting votes for Guild Councillors

The method of counting votes for Guild Councillors shall be by optional proportional representation as interpreted by the Returning Officer, having regard to Schedule 2.

629(6) Validity of result

An Election is not invalid because of:

(a) any delay, error or defect of a procedural nature if the delay, error of defect does not affect the result of the Election; and

(b) any omission, error or defect in the appointment or authorisation of an Electoral Official.

629(7) Recounts

(a) At any time before the declaration of the poll the Returning Officer may, if they think fit or at the request of any Scrutineer, recount the ballot papers.

(b) The Returning Officer, in conducting the recount, shall have the same powers as if the recount was the count, and may reverse any decision in relation to the scrutiny as to the allowance, admission or disallowance or rejection of any ballot paper.

629(8) Use of computers in the counting process

The Returning Officer may decide to use computers in the counting process for any ballots where they consider this method would be the most cost-efficient and appropriate means of conducting the count.

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