Review of Polling Places
Each council must by law to carry out a review every four years to make sure it provides facilities for voting and that polling places are accessible to all electors, including voters with a disability. The next compulsory review is not scheduled to take place in October 2018.
However, the Highland Council agreed to initiate a preliminary review which commenced in October 2017 and gave the Council an opportunity of a longer period of consultation to ascertain stakeholders’ view and opinions, in particular, undertake a comparison between the original polling scheme used in 2015 with the revised Highland Council’s scheme that was devised in 2017.
Following the completion of Stage 1 of the public consultation, a total of 34 responses were received and can now be viewed below.
The Returning Officer has now published his proposals and further responses will be invited on his draft proposals in Stage 4 in October 2018.
The Council is particularly keen to hear the views from any person or organisation with expertise in access for people with any type of disability on the proposals on any changes to existing polling places.
Representations can be made: by post to Election Office, The Highland Council, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness IV3 5NX; by email to email@example.com or by phone on 01463 702945.
The closing date for submissions will be 5.00pm on Monday, 10 December 2018.
All representations will be open to public inspection and will also be published on the Council’s website. The outcome of the review will then be published on the Council’s website in March 2019.
Timetable for each of the stages of this preliminary review.
- Notification of the "preliminary" review - Publish notice of the preliminary review - Monday 2 October 2017
- Administering the "preliminary" review - Undertake a review of current polling stations and districts - week beginning Tuesday 3 October 2017
- Hold meeting with Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
- Hold meeting with Ross, Skye and Lochaber
- Hold meeting with Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey
- Deadline for representations and comments on the existing and proposed arrangements for polling districts and places - Wednesday 31 January 2018
- Publish Returning Officer’s comments - Wednesday 28 February 2018
The outcome of the preliminary review will now form the basis of the compulsory review which will commence on 1 October 2018. It anticipated that the preliminary review has dealt with many issues in advance of the following stages:
- Notification of the review - Publish notice of the review. Formal review to commence on Monday 1 October 2018
- Consultation - Representations and comments on the proposed arrangements for polling districts and places to commence Monday 1 October to Monday 10 December 2018 (10 weeks)
- Concluding the review - After considering all of the representations, the results of the review to be reported to Committee in February 2019
- Publishing the conclusions after approval has been sought, details of the new polling districts and polling places must be available to the public (to include reasons for choosing a particular Polling District or Place) in March 2019
- Appeals Process - Following the conclusion of the LA review, representations can be made to the Electoral Commission. Final report to Highland Council in April 2019
On completion of stage 8 and following a final report to Highland Council the new scheme will be in place for all elections after that date.