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Candidates and agents Information Elections to the National Assembly for Wales – 5 May 2011
Topics • • • election timetable qualifications disqualifications nominations agents postal votes day of poll counting of votes candidates expenses contacts
Election Timetable Publication of Notice of Election Not later than – 25 March 2011 Nominations Commence Close of nominations Noon – 4 April 2011 Deadline for withdrawal of candidature Noon – 6 April 2011 Notification of appointment of election agents Noon – 6 April 2011 Publication of statement of persons and parties nominated and publication of notice of poll Noon – 8 April 2011 Deadline for new postal votes/changes to 5 pm – 14 April postal or proxy votes 2011
Election timetable (cont’d) Registration deadline 14 April 2011 Deadline for applications for new proxy votes 5 pm – 21 April 2011 Appointment of counting and polling agents 26 April 2011 Polling day 5 May – 7 am to 10 pm Deadline to apply for new applications to vote by proxy on grounds of medical emergency 5 pm – 5 May 2011 Replacement for lost/spoilt postal votes ends 5 pm – 5 May 2011 Alterations to register to correct clerical error 9 pm – 5 May 2011
Qualifications • To qualify as a candidate at a constituency or a regional election you must: (on the day you are nominated and on polling day): – be at least 18 years of age – be a British citizen, an eligible Commonwealth citizen or a Citizen of any other member state of the European Union
Disqualifications • You cannot be a candidate if at the time of your nomination or election you: – are a judge – are a civil servant – are a member of the armed forces – are a member of a police force – are a member of a legislature of any country or territory outside the Commonwealth (other than Ireland) – are employed as a member of the staff of the Assembly – hold an office that is mentioned in The National Assembly for Wales (Disqualification) Order 2010 – are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order
Nominations • Nomination papers must be submitted to the relevant Returning Officer by noon on Monday 4 April 2011 • [insert details of when and where they can be delivered] • Who can deliver nomination papers? - For a constituency election, nomination papers must be delivered by yourself, your party’s Nominating Officer or your election agent - For an individual candidate standing at the regional election, nomination papers must be delivered by yourself or your election agent - For a party list standing at the regional election, must be delivered by the party’s Nominating Officer
The deposit • Each candidate or regional list must deposit £ 500 with the relevant RO so that the nomination is valid. • Can be made using legal tender (cash) or a banker’s draft or building society cheque • [The RO may also accept a deposit made by a debit or credit card or an electronic funds transfer. ] • The person making the deposit must give the RO their name and address • If the candidate or party obtained more than 5% of the valid votes cast in the constituency or region, the deposit will be returned • The deposit will also be returned if a regional list or individual regional candidate is allocated a seat
Nomination form – Constituency candidates If you wish to stand as a constituency candidate, your form must contain: • your full name • your full home address • the signature of one subscriber (this can be your signature, or the signature of someone else) You also have an option to include on the form: • a registered party description (if authorised to use one) • any names you commonly use that are different from your actual name (and which you wish to appear on the ballot paper).
Nomination form – Individual regional candidates If you wish to stand as an individual regional candidate, your form must contain: • your full name • your full home address • the signature of one subscriber (this can be your signature, or the signature of someone else) You also have an option to include on the form any names you commonly use that are different from your actual name (and which you wish to appear on the ballot paper).
Nomination form – Nominating a party list at the regional election must contain • the full name of each candidate on the list in the order they are to be elected, up to a maximum of 12 candidates • the full home address of each candidate • the name and signature of the party’s Nominating Officer or a person authorised by them to nominate the list • the name of the party and the registered party description to appear on the ballot paper (if applicable) • commonly used names for each candidate (if applicable) • the signature of one subscriber (this can the signature of a party list candidate, or the signature of someone else
Descriptions • Under certain circumstances you can have a description that will appear under your details on the ballot paper. • You have four options regarding using a description: 1. Leave the description part of the form blank so that no description will appear on the ballot paper (although this will mean that you will not be able to use an emblem if you are standing on behalf of a party) 2. Use the description 'Independent‘ or ‘Annibynnol’ 3. If you are representing a registered political party, you can use the party name as registered with the Commission 4. If you are representing a registered political party, you can use one of the party's descriptions registered with the Commission • If you are standing for a political party and choosing options 3 or 4, you must submit a certificate of authorisation showing that you have the authorisation of the party's Nominating Officer (or someone appointed to act on their behalf). • The certificate must be submitted to the relevant RP by noon on 4 April 2011
Joint descriptions • As a constituency candidate, you can stand for election for more than one party and use a joint description • You will need a certificate of authorisation from the Nominating Officers for both parties and the description must be registered as a joint description by both parties. • A regional list cannot be submitted jointly by two political parties.
Nominations – • Must include: – name and address details consent to – confirm that you are not disqualified nomination from being a Member of the National Assembly for Wales – date of birth must be included – candidate must sign and date form – witness must sign and date form
Agents • Election agent – must be declared to the RO before noon on Wednesday 6 April 2011 • Sub-agent – must give written notice to the RO by no later than Tuesday 3 May 2011 • Polling agent – the RO requires notice in writing of any people appointed as polling agents by 26 April 2011 • Counting agent – the RO requires notice in writing of any persons nominated to attend the counting of the votes by 26 April 2011
Postal Votes • Code of conduct – no candidate or supporter should put themselves in a position where their honesty or integrity, or that of the candidate or party, can be questioned • Personal identifiers – absent voters required to provide a sample signature and their date of birth on their application – this information is stored electronically and checked against the security statement returned with the electors completed postal vote pack • This additional security steps to the processing of applications and verification of returned votes – it is important that any received applications or postal vote packs are returned to the elections office as soon as possible to ensure adequate time for processing
Day of Poll • Polling stations open from 7 am to 10 pm • Office open [x]am to [x]pm for queries or problems relating to the administration of the election – any queries relating to regulatory issues or queries about a candidate’s campaign literature please contact the Electoral Commission (contact details shown later) • Polling station inspectors and their remit • Tellers – refer to guidance • Canvassing • Postal Votes – can be handed into polling stations within voting area or delivered to the elections office until 10 pm.
Counting of Votes • [insert local arrangements for the counting of National Assembly election votes] • Count centre will open to candidates, agents and spectators from [x] • The count will be held in: – [insert count centre location/address] • Make sure appointments for counting agents are submitted to the RO prior to deadline
Candidates’ spending • there is a limit to how much you can spend on your campaigning • you must report your spending to the appropriate Returning Officer after the election • the Electoral Commission gives full guidance on how to account for your spending [hand out guidance or refer to Commission website]
Contacts • Elections office – [insert] • Electoral Commission contacts - Party and Election Finance 020 7271 0616 - Wales office 029 2034 6800
Thank you Please ensure you take your candidate’s pack for guidance