What’s happening next in the 2018 elections of councillors on the Wirral?
The author would like to thank The Bureau of Investigative Journalism for its help with this story.
At these elections and indeed for the rest of 2018 I’m an accredited election observer (my photo ID for this was recently issued by the Electoral Commission as you can see above).
I’ve been doing some thought on how I’m going to observe these local elections both on the Wirral and more widely across Merseyside.
At this stage in the election, the statement of persons nominated has been published for elections to Wirral Council and various postal votes have been sent out. Around Merseyside I’ve seen posters and garden stake boards up for particular candidates and political parties.
Democracy Club have set up a website where you can enter your postcode and be told where your polling station is as well as directions for how to go from your postcode to it. In the interests of transparency I think that Democracy Club have received money from the Electoral Commission for this.
The elections on the Wirral to Wirral Council are conducted using the FTPT (First Past the Post System). Basically this means that the votes for each candidate are counted and the candidate (or the first and second placed candidates in Hoylake and Meols) are elected.
Election results are expected on 3rd May 2018 and 4th May 2018 and polling stations will be open between 7 am and 10 pm on Thursday 3rd May 2018.
Postal votes can either be returned by post or handed in to polling stations on polling day.
These are the next upcoming events in the election timetable:
by 5pm Wednesday 25th April 2018 – Deadline for new applications to vote by proxy to be received (doesn’t include postal proxy or emergency proxy)
Not later than 25th April 2018 – Publication of Notice of Poll by Wirral Council on their website
26th April 2018 – Deadline for notification of polling and counting agents
27th April 2018 – Earliest date voters can apply for a replacement for spoilt or lost postal ballots
3rd May 2018 (7am to 10pm) – Polling stations are open for voting
5pm 3rd May 2018 – Deadline for voters applying for a replacement for spoilt or lost postal ballots
5pm 3rd May 2018 – Deadline for emergency proxy applications
9pm 3rd May 2018 – Last time to alter the electoral register due to clerical error or court appeal
3rd May 2018 – 10 pm onwards counting of votes at Wirral Tennis and Sports Centre, Bidston
3rd and 4th May 2018 – results declared and published on Wirral Council’s website
7th June 2018 – deadline for returning election expenses (if result declared on 3rd May 2018)
8th June 2018 – deadline for returning election expenses (if result declared on 4th May 2018)
2nd August 2018 – deadline for sending postal vote identifier rejection notices
Matters that have happened in previous years that shouldn’t have, have been things like:
1) on polling day polling station workers at a polling station directing voters for replacement postal ballot papers to Wirral Council buildings that are closed,
2) postal votes not being delivered,
3) replacement postal votes not being delivered,
4) large party political posters where they shouldn’t be (such as polling stations) and
5) votes not being counted properly.
There have also been some “technical offences” involving previous elections to Wirral Council that the Crown Prosecution Service agree there is proof that have been committed but the CPS don’t deem it as in the public interest to prosecute certain candidates and agents about technical matters.
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