The statutory role of the EMB - co-ordination through support and promotion of best practice - was achieved in a number of ways leading up to these elections. The focus was always on the interests of the voter, and included delivering appropriate consistency and efficiency through a clear single point of contact with suppliers.
Specific tasks that were undertaken included:
- the Elections Convener escalation procedure among Returning Officers (ROs) to allow discussion of local issues, considering options for solutions to prevent similar problems elsewhere or nationally in the immediate run-up to polling day;
- consideration by the Elections Convener of regular performance monitoring reports from the Electoral Commission, with action on any issues identified;
- national advocacy by practitioners to practitioners of consistent good standards of service to voters, candidates and agents;
- provision of guidance and supplementary guidance further to that provided by the Electoral Commission for example on ballot box seals and the adjudication of doubtful ballots;
- development and advocacy of guidance to ROs on the provision of information to candidates and agents on count centres;
- consultation on the timing of counts leading to the Election Convener’s Direction on the Timing of Counts;
- contribution to the development of a consistent approach to the preparation of postelection data;
- leading the eCounting Project Board to plan and oversee the delivery of the eCounting solution;
- the work of the EMB’s forms sub-group to develop consistent and good quality non-statutory forms to complement the work undertaken by the Commission on statutory forms; and
- the EMB’s Communications Network working with, and separately from, the Electoral Commission to ensure public awareness messages were consistently delivered.
While its main contacts were through Returning Officers and Electoral Registration Officers, the Board also worked closely with the Electoral Commission, the eCounting Project Board and the Scottish Government.
Regular participation in the Political Parties Panel (PPP) facilitated by the Electoral Commission were also useful in creating well informed candidates and agents able to participate fully in all aspects of the electoral process.