EU Referendum--The Count

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Offline the leveller

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EU Referendum--The Count
« on: March 21, 2016, 09:33:06 PM »
Dear Sir,

No doubt you will be aware of the statement once attributed to Josef Stalin (whether actual or mythical) illustrating an important principle:  "It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the votes."

  I have visited the EC website looking for information on the conduct of the actual count overnight on 23rd June for the EU referendum, but can find no detailed explanation of the count procedure.  I concede this may be premature at this stage and yet to be disclosed?

However, I noted the following on the EC website but this appears to be all there is:

Managing attendees 

 2.24Your plans should include mechanisms for managing the expectations of those attending the verification and count, so all attendees know what to expect and what their role is. They should also cover how you will maintain the secrecy of the vote throughout the verification and count. 

This appears to be a very minimal statement which raises several important questions for  which I would be grateful for your clarification.  Of course there would be no 'candidates' present, but notwithstanding the level of local interest at the point of count needs to be catered for.

1. Will the count for the EU referendum replicate in general the same procedures for a count at a General election and with the same level of transparency?

2. What is meant by a "local count"?   Given the intense interest in the results will such a local event be in public venues and with the public in attendance if desired as in a GE, and  before the collation of local results being forwarded to Manchester?  Would there be any reason why the result of a local count may not be declared to the public locally before collation?

3. I cannot see any detail about general security of votes once counted and by whom?  Will there be, for example, a system of verification, and/or double verification of the number of  ballot boxes at a local count, and how would this be registered and recorded?

4. What measures would be taken to secure the ballot boxes at every stage, and particularly overnight on the 23rd June,  so that these are tamper-proof, and who would be responsible for oversight of all necessary security measures both locally and in transit to Manchester?  For example, would ballot boxes be padlocked and keys deposited with EC appointees or local police?

5. Given the fiasco with almost every aspect of the 1975 referendum, will all ballot papers be retained and secure for a given period?

Finally, will the EC website include information on the important matter of the count in relation to issues raised by the five points I have made as above?

I would be grateful for your clarification.

With thanks

Mr G Wood

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