Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Oh dear - this is what happens when you create layers of unnecessary bureaucracy...

Just received this from one of my local Returning Officers

As it happens, all of my candidates complete their forms in my presence, so I am able to confirm with absolute certainty that the witnesses did actually witness the candidate complete the form and sign, as required by law. Just imagine, however, if an Agent or Association officer had given each candidate their forms with a return date - and was unable to make such a declaration. Or even worse, if a candidate, having handed in their forms in good faith, went on holiday (as many have done over Easter) and were not back in the UK until after nomination day. Would that candidate be disqualified due to the Electoral Commission's error? 


  1. Afraid you've got this wrong Andrew. The legislation is clear that the candidate has to sign and date the consent. The witness has to be there when the candidate signs and therefore it must be the same date he/she witnesses and attests that with their signature and address. The EC guidance makes no mention of the witness having to date their signature. See this from the specimen consent form from the Regs, again no note of a witnessing date.

    1. In fairness, the email quoted above is from the local ERO, who told me she was acting on the instruction of the Electoral Commission.

  2. And most of what I quote is from my local ERO :-)