COUNT & DECLARATION AUDIO
FOR DONCASTER MAYORAL ELECTION
THE DOME,BAWTRY ROAD, DONCASTER
Stating 9pm 2nd May 2002
The Count of the voting papers starts immediately
the polling booths close on the day of the election.
This process is carried out in a formal very controlled
manner; a description of the 2002 Mayoral Election
Layout of the Counting Hall
arriving at the Dome, it was noticeable that there
was a police and internal security presence on every
door and only those with passes were allowed to enter.
Those allowed in were
- The counting staff which were led by the Returning
Officer for Doncaster, Paul Evans who also had overall
control helped by the Assistant Returning Officers,
and the Electoral Registration Officers.
- The candidates and the representatives of their
parties to watch and ensure that all was carried out
- The media.
All those allowed in were given a non removable, hospital
type wrist band correctly coloured to show level of
On entering the main hall, it was obvious that the
main hall had been laid in a predetermined manner
with trestle tables around three sides with a stage
from which the declarations were to be made making
up the centre of the front".
The ballot slips arrived in sealed numbered boxes
and were opened in the controlled area and the papers
placed on the trestle tables.
The counting staff were sitting around the inside
of the open square and the political party observers
were sitting opposite, desperately trying to see the
number of votes that were coming out of each box.
When each box was emptied, it was held up to show
to the political observers that there were no papers
The counting staff then, separated the Mayoral Ballot
forms from those for the Council( the council ones
were put on one side until the next morning count)
, Verified them, by unfolding each voting slip and
piling them up in front of them. When 50 papers were
reached an elastic band was placed around them.
When all the verification had been completed and all
the counting staff were sitting with clear tables
in front of them, the count proper started.
The bundles were taken back to the counting staff,
who removed the elastic bands and sorted the slips
into different piles noting the first choice for each
When a pile reached 50 an elastic band captured them
and they were taken to tables in the centre controlled
area, where boxes designated for each candidate were
bundles were counted into a box to give 1000. All
this was seen and checked by the candidates and the
agents, who watched anxiously as these piles increased
along the table, seeing how long their "box line"
was compared with the other candidates
At various times towards the end of this process the
candidates and their agents were called into the restricted
area by the Returning Officers to look through the
spoilt and doubtful papers to agree those OK to go
forward. Voters must put an X against their candidate
with no other marking. Those marked with a "tick"
were accepted but any extra wording made them invalid.
Postal votes had already been counted and agreed.
The tension was high as a successful candidate had
to get more than 50% of the votes cast to win. Failing
this the two top candidates went forward to a second
A recount was required as two candidates were within
600 for second place.
When all had been completed the Returning Officer
announced that the result for the first count, which
showed that a second count was required. All candidates
apart from the first two were eliminated and their
papers were reassessed for the second preference of
the voters. Only those showing the remaining candidates
preferences were counted.
The first ever declaration for an Elected Doncaster
Mayor was then made by the Returning Officer.
The winning candidate then gives an acceptance address
thanking their supporters and the officials for their
efficiency. It is also traditional to commiserate
with the losing candidates who then speak in order
of their results to give their thanks and other comments.