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Election recount clause could be tightened

Election recount clause could be tightened

Friday 19 May 2023

Election recount clause could be tightened

Friday 19 May 2023

The margin for trigging an island-wide election recount could be narrowed under new proposals to be put forward by the States Assembly & Constitution Committee.

In 2020, the margin to trigger a recount entitled any candidate within 2% of votes of the 38th and final deputy to be elected to do so, provided that at least four of them applied to the Bailiff for a recount.

SACC will ask deputies to agree to change the law so that it only allows for a 2% margin between the 38th and 39th placed candidates. 

Four candidates who narrowly missed out on the final seat within the States Assembly in 2020 successfully applied for a recount of all ballots. Six candidates in total were eligible to do so. 

That recount resulted in no change in seats from the original declaration and took two days to perform.

2020 was also the first year that electronic counting systems were used in a Guernsey election.

Deputy Carl Meerveld

Pictured: Deputy Carl Meerveld, now President of SACC, received the fewest votes of any deputy in 2020.

SACC’s President, Deputy Carl Meerveld, who survived the recount process in 2020, said the proposed margin would be “more than wide enough” and that it would sufficiently capture “every discrepancy in the counting error,” which he estimated is unlikely to be more than 0.3%. 

SACC officials noted that island-wide voting has dramatically increased the scale of vote counting, with individual votes proving less effective than within the district-based voting system as candidates required around 6,000 votes to get elected.

Over 637,770 votes were cast in 2020 by 24,647 voters.

SACC member Deputy Simon Fairclough argued 2% was a reasonable margin, as some of the differences in 2020 were “pretty significant”.

Deputy John Gollop said he didn’t see “a reason to change” as even with the proposed modifications a recount could’ve be triggered in 2020.

Officials advised SACC members that the changes should be brought to the States next year to avoid legislative changes in the same year as the upcoming election, currently set for June 2025. 


Recount "proves that scanning systems work"

There will be a recount!

Election team gearing up for recount

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