The Electoral Commission’s report into May’s Scottish Parliament elections is now out and broadly paints a positive picture of how the elections were administered.
As is often the case in such reports, it is the apparently obvious recommendations that highlight how something, somewhere took a rather unfortunate turn. In the case of this report, one such recommendation is tucked way unobtrusively in the middle of p.8:
Following any boundary reviews ROs and EROs must make thorough checks with the relevant Boundary Commission to ensure they are able to precisely identify the exact boundaries that are set out in legislation.
(700 people in Glasgow were sent poll cards telling them to vote in the wrong place.)
On the big issue in many people’s minds ahead of the elections, the report rightly brings good news. The 2007 Scottish elections were marked by controversy over the much higher proportion of rejected ballot papers than for previous Scottish Parliament elections.
This time, aided in part by the use of different ballot paperwork, the rejection rates fell right back down to levels last seen in 1999.
Looking to the future, the paper echoes the Electoral Commission report on the AV referendum when it comes to following up invalid postal votes and also promises a discussion paper on the thorny issue of when elections should be counted.Scottish-Parliament-Elections-2011-Electoral-Commission-report