Ballot counting and local elections…

I had an interesting and enjoyable late night counting ballots for the local elections on the 5th May. I’ve been wanting to do this for a couple of years to see what the process behind the numbers was. It was also £10 per hour so worth it from another point of view also!

I got to the tennis centre building at about 9:15pm and it all finished at about 2 am. There was a lot of sorting of the local election ballots and the Alternative Vote ballots, which were cast at the same time. Once this had been done for each box, the election ballots were counted into bundles of 25, then 100’s. There were two people per table and once one person had counted their ballots, these were swapped and double-checked by the other person. A final number was then written on a sheet, then the whole lot was re-counted, the number written on the sheet again and the two (hopefully) tallied.

Problem was, ours didn’t! We had 429 for the first double-checked count and 430 for the next! We then went through the process again and got exactly the same result the second time! The second was actually triple checked across another table. Not sure what happened there but it didn’t seem to hold things up too much.

We then sorted some more AV ballots then also sorted our ward ballots into piles, one for each of the 3 political parties. I was in the Hucclecote ward, which the Lib Dems won by a mile (1,854 Declan Wilson to John Lock (Tory) 941). We actually had the Labour candidate sitting at our table opposite us looking fairly depressed!

Our friend who was running for Councillor for Quedgeley Fieldcourt came a strong second to the Tory candidate (777 to 1,095). Better luck next time mate but well done for keeping the pressure on.

Anyway, a fun evening and the I had a good laugh with the guy I was sitting with. We even got told off by the ward boss at one point for talking too much! And that was when we were actually sorting! I’ll defo be doing the counting next year.