Two election count centres will be at Honiton and Exmouth
Nomination packs for those wishing to stand for election on the district, town and parish councils on Thursday 2nd May are now available to prospective candidates.
Those interested in putting their names forward can contact East Devon District Council, who are administering the elections, and ask to be sent a pack which contains relevant information to stand for election. If you would like a nomination pack please contact the Electoral Services team on 01395 517402. Nominations for election must be received by 4pm on Wednesday 3rd April.
This year, there will be two count centres for the elections – one at Blackdown House in Honiton and the other at the Town Hall in Exmouth.
Blackdown House will be the count centre mainly for those district wards and towns/parishes within the Tiverton and Honiton parliamentary constituency whilst the Town Hall will be the count centre mainly for wards and towns/parishes within the East Devon parliamentary constituency. Final details of where each ward and town/parish will be counted will be confirmed following the closure of nominations on Wednesday 3rd April.
As happened in 2015, the district council election will be counted and the results declared on Friday 3rd May. For contested town and parish elections, these will be counted and the results declared on Saturday 4th May.
The count on both days will begin at 9.30 am. In advance of the count for each ward and town/parish, the district council will publish indicative times of when the count for a particular ward or town/parish is expected to start (and when it will not begin before). At each count centre, wards and town/parishes will be allocated to specific count tables so those attending will know where the ward or town/parish they are interested in will be counted. It is proposed that declarations will be made at set times too.
Following the declarations, results will be uploaded straight to East Devon District Council’s website.
At the close of the polls at 10pm on Thursday 2nd May, presiding officers will take their ballot boxes from their polling station to their designated count centre where the ballot boxes will be securely stored overnight in preparation for the district count the following day. Any postal votes handed in to the polling stations will be verified at the count centre on Thursday night and then also securely stored with any other postal votes for that ward and town/parish ready to be counted over the following two days.
With the district and town/parish elections, there are a significant number of results to declare and more complex counting methods to employ where there are multi-councillor wards. With two count centres, clear timings for the counting and declaration of results, candidates, their agents and any other persons legally able to attend the counts will have greater clarity over when their result will be declared and it will reduce significant periods of waiting around that occurred previously.
Mark Williams, Returning Officer for East Devon, said:
By using two venues to count, by ensuring fresh staff on the count days and with clearer timings for the counting and declaration of results, I am confident that a smooth and efficient election will occur. Those involved will see and benefit from a much improved process. Overall, these arrangements are being put in place to ensure that an efficient, timely and robust election is delivered.
As a result of the Boundary Commission review, the district council will be electing one extra district councillor this year. There have been a few boundary changes to the wards and number of councillors in them.
Maps showing the new ward boundaries for East Devon can be found here.
Voters are advised to check their polling cards carefully when they receive them to ensure that they attend the correct polling station.