Key stages of the count process

Key stages

Each of the fourteen counts is following the same process. Four key stages must be completed before the results of the Constituency Assembly Member contest can be declared:

  • Registration – as ballot boxes are opened, the ballot papers in them are registered as batches onto the count system. CROs know exactly how many ballot boxes and therefore batches they are expecting. Each batch contains ballot papers from all three contests;
  • Scanning – every batch of ballot papers is then scanned and the number of ballot papers and votes cast in each contest are captured onto the counting system;
  • Verification – count staff check that the number of ballot papers in each batch matches the number issued in the relevant polling station yesterday or processed at a postal vote opening session;
  • Adjudication of doubtful ballot papers – where a voter’s intentions are not clear, the CRO and their appointed deputies scrutinise an image of the ballot paper before either accepting the ballot paper as good so that the vote(s) are counted, or rejecting the ballot paper because the voter’s intentions cannot be determined. The decision of the CRO in respect of a ballot paper is final.

Once adjudication is complete, the information held in the counting system can be used to generate the results.

Read more about how the votes are counted in each contest.