Voting in the Liberal Democrat internal elections

There is a lot of understandable confusion and frustration over the voting arrangements for the Liberal Democrat internal elections.

Once they (and the general election) are over, we need to make sure the lessons are properly understood and learnt, particularly as this isn’t the first time we’ve had problems with party elections getting in the way of people voting.

One small saving grace is that, partly thanks to my own suggestion, the rules have a provision for the closing date of the polls to be delayed if necessary if a general election gets in the way, such as if an election means there isn’t enough time to properly process all the voting queries in time. Watch out for any possible official news on that soon.

The immediate priority is to make sure as many people as possible can vote. Voting is open to everyone who was a party member as of the close of nominations at 5pm on Monday 30 September.

(1) If you voted online promptly (in about the first 24 hours, before 10am on Sunday 27 October) then your vote is likely to have been cancelled and you will need to vote again.

This is due to a problem with the committee elections as some candidate manifestos were missing from the online system. Therefore if you voted during the period in which this was the case, you’ll have to vote again in fairness to the candidates who submitted those missing manifestos.

If you are one of these people, you should have had an email in your inbox on Friday titled, “Important update on your internal election vote” and from Nick Harvey.

(2) If you have not yet had either an online or a postal ballot, then something has gone wrong in getting one to you – so contact elections@libdems.org.uk. They have a two working day target but the volume of queries means it is taking longer for some people – so get your query in quickly.

Please do comment below if you encounter any other problems or need further assistance working out how to be able to vote – will do my best to assist or point you in the right direction.

(Please also share this with other members you know – it’s likely people may, for example, need to revote but miss seeing the email about this.)

12 responses to “Voting in the Liberal Democrat internal elections”

  1. On 29th Oct I still hadn’t had my ballot email, and no response to the two emails I’d sent querying this. I rang them up; they confirmed that they did have my email address and couldn’t account for what had gone wrong. I got my ballot email within the hour. On Friday Nov 1st I got postal ballot papers as well…. Oops.

  2. I don’t think the logic of the website used for the elections was very good. If, for example, I’ve ranked the candidates and realise I made a mistake. The person I had placed 8th should have been 2nd. I switch the 8th candidate to 2nd and the website then automatically switches the previous 2nd candidate to 8th. Instead it should switch 2nd to 3rd, 3rd to 4th and so on. So I then have to manually change each of the rankings. Because if this it becomes very tedious to vote in elections where there are 36 candidates for 15 positions. It would also be helpful to rearrange the list as you rank them instead of remaining in the original random order.

    • Agree – the format is not user-friendly and it’s very very time consuming to actually read each manifesto and manage the rankings – some of my choices seemed to get lost if I chose the same number again – meant I needed to do it offline first then enter it. Ability to move up/down and, as Scott mentioned, a nudging facility would be good. For a small number of candidates it’s fine, but 36 to 15 is very unwieldy. I can’t yet face repeating it for the other elections!

  3. I didn’t feel any confusion or frustration whatever.. mild irritation at having to vote a second time, but these things happen and we have humans doing things so the occasional error is fine.,.
    Scott is correct, and we previously had a software that allowed just what he suggests..

  4. I found the process very slow, and had not finished voting when I found out that there were problem. I did not read any information from the candidates as this would have taken forever. I only voted for candidates that I had heard of, not really fair on the others.

    Please can we go back to paper a cross the board. Not sure if I will try and vote again. Its not just the Lib Dems who have these issues. I find having to do things on line seems slower and very frustrating.

  5. Luckily I’m hectic and have been working on a JIT basis, so as the deadline is (was?) 5th November I’ve read none of the manifestos and not started to vote. Hopefully the delay will allow me to give it a more considered effort later this week.

  6. From where does the party get the power to cancel or invalidate members’ votes already cast? That this can happen seems shocking.

    • The problem with the initial votes is that they were cast when the information about the candidates in the voting system was wrong – which disadvantaged some candidates over others because of the missing information. It’s a bit like if some ballot papers had been sent out with some candidates missing – it’d be the fair, reasonable thing to then cancel those votes and send out replacement ballots.

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