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States forge ahead with IWV plans

States forge ahead with IWV plans

Thursday 20 December 2018

States forge ahead with IWV plans

The new States Assembly and Constitution Committee are pressing on with plans to have Island Wide Voting in place for the 2020 election, as they start to tackle all of the details it involves.

Deputies were all invited to a workshop yesterday where Deputy Neil Inder, the new President of SACC, gave a presentation on what they had established about IWV so far.

As things currently stand, SACC plans for the election take place on the 17 June (around two months after this current assembly 'expires'), and would allow a six and a half week period for campaigning. 

But before that, the committee has listed a number of challenges to deal with:

  • Setting the date in stone
  • Extending the campaigning period (possibly by reducing the nomination period)
  • Buffering for recounts
  • Buffering for propelling
  • Allowing time for manifesto distribution
  • Preparing for the last States meeting on May 6 2020. 

And while SACC's team are still in the early stages of planning and tackling these challenges, and have not set anything on stone yet, they are trying to consider all eventualities. Deputy Inder said the crux of their plan at the moment was "to overcompensate".

"We are looking at a whole range of different ways to get people to vote before Election Day. Pre-polling, if you don't know, is visiting the ballot stations in advance - it lessens congestion on the day itself, and that is something we have been considering," he said.

"We have got to find ways for the electorate to avoid the polling stations. I think that is how we are going to see the best turn out result."

referendum ballots

Pictured: Postal voting was a hit during Guernsey's first ever referendum. 

Postal voting was a huge success in the recent referendum the States ran, with more than 3,000 responses being sent in that way. It will again be on the cards for the election.

At a SACC meeting recently, the idea of online voting was also discussed, however the likelihood of that sort of system being ready for 2020 is unlikely. 

All of this was talked through with the majority of the island's Deputies who attended the Workshop, and they were then given an opportunity to question each element behind closed doors. 

One of their main concerns was how they will campaign when (and if) they stand again. At the moment, SACC are reviewing the idea of centrally distributing a manifesto which has an allocated space for each candidate. Deputy Inder said he had already spoken to the relevant people locally - both printers and at the Post Office - to start to gauge costings.

Neil Inder (in the dark lol)

Pictured: Deputy Inder discussing States members feedback so far. 

If the States were to send a printed manifesto containing details of all of the candidates in to every household on the island, it would cost them (early approximation) £27,000. If they were to do this for everyone on the electoral role, 32,000 people, it would cost £40,000. With print costs included alongside other details, Deputy Inder said the process itself would cost between £35,000 and £60,000. This would be alongside online details and media contact. 

Individual candidates who would not want to partake in that manifesto would still have the option to distribute their own information, but Deputy Inder urged everyone to think about the logistics of doing that on an island wide basis. 

A number of other details are also being looked at currently, including how exactly candidacy will work and how a by-election would happen. 

Pictured: Deputy Neil Inder. 


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