MLC calls for review of election

Tynwald buildings, in the heart of the financial district in central Douglas

Tynwald buildings, in the heart of the financial district in central Douglas

Have your say

A Tynwald committee should be set up to report on the running of the 2016 General Election and to make recommendations for future elections to the House of Keys.

That’s the call from David Cretney MLC, who will ask for a committee of five members to be set up to ‘consider and report on all aspects of the organisation and operation of last month’s election and to make recommendations for future practice at the Tynwald sitting today (Tuesday).

Proposals he would like the committee to consider include introducing the option of online voting.

Mr Cretney told the Examiner: ‘I moved a similar resolution two elections ago to review and update election procedures which led to a number of improvements in the time of year, hours of voting and absent voting amongst others.

‘I believe this is timely because of the various issues raised and also to continue the updating.’

In the constituency of Ayre and Michael, it was later discovered that some 206 votes failed to be counted after one of the unsuccessful candidates, Louise Whitelegg, asked returning officer Simon Cain to double check the figures.

The missing votes did not affect the overall election result.

Acting Attorney General John Quinn carried out an inquiry and concluded that Mr Cain acted unlawfully when he opened the sealed ballot papers to investigate the discrepancy.

But he said the returning officer would not be prosecuted for his actions.

Meanwhile, in Garff, there was drama when it was discovered that two ballot boxes, apparently unopened, were spotted after the preliminary election result had been reached.

The count at the Laxey Working Men’s Institute was overseen by Winston Taylor, who confirmed a number of the ballot papers had been overlooked in the initial count but fortunately were spotted and accounted for before the final result was announced that evening.

Mr Cretney said that in addition to these two issues, he had also been contacted about lost manifestos and low turnout in some areas.

He added: ‘I am aware an officer group will be examining matters but issues here should be considered by elected members in the interests of transparency and democracy.’

The committee would invite people to make both written and oral submissions.

‘Returning officers and others can let the committee have their views,’ Mr Cretney said.

‘Matters such as an option of online voting and that people opt out because of the requirement to be available for jury should be further considered.’

Back to the top of the page