Independent investigation into election problems


The BBC is running a story on local television and radio today about the independent investigation into electoral administration problems in Plymouth this year.

This investigation, which we commissioned jointly with the Electoral Commission, is still ongoing and it would be entirely inappropriate for us to comment without waiting for the full findings to be published.

As we announced in June, the investigation is looking at all the issues, including:

  • The processes and controls around election planning
  • The factors that led to postal voting packs not being received
  • The sequence of events and consequences at each stage
  • An assessment of the overall numbers of voters affected
  • The approach, effectiveness and timeliness of remedial action taken to rectify the issue, once the Council became aware of the scale of the problem
  • The advice and guidance provided by the Electoral Commission regarding the Council’s responsibilities, and their adopted method of resolving the issue
  • The staffing and operation of the election call centre leading up to the day of the election, and on polling day itself
  • The effectiveness of communications, and the way in which customer enquiries were dealt with
  • Evidence of customer interactions including the outcomes and levels of satisfaction
  • The general effectiveness of the elections and electoral registration function, including the capacity and capability of the team
  • The robustness of systems and processes, with a particular focus on applications for, and distribution of postal votes
  • Any other matters that might have influenced the elections process or response to the issues encountered

We have provided data and information about the administration of the elections process, including details of all complaints and contact from members of the public.

People affected by the problems were also invited to share their experiences as part of the inquiry.

The report from the investigation will be taken to a public meeting of the full Council next month, when we will be able to comment on what happened and what we plan to do next. It will be published online in the normal way.