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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Out for the count

I was on BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement this morning to discuss social mobility, which is where I first heard of plans by six North Wales Councils to hold their Assembly counts at 9am on the Friday morning.

Wales on Sunday reports that this has particularly irked the Presiding Officer, who quite rightly points to the fact that there is all-party support for counting being over as soon as possible so we can start to consider the result.

Although I personally dislike counts I believe that he has a valid point. There are statutory processes involved in forming the new Welsh Government and that has time limits attached to it. The sooner we have an outcome the better.

Having said that, I waited until about 5pm on the Friday in 2007 for my result, despite the fact that the count had taken place overnight. Whatever we do the process is going to be protracted, especially when there is a referendum to count as well. Maybe I should count on a substantial period without sleep whatever the outcome of these present discussions.
Don't know whose decision it was in North Wales, it's Denbighshire that's responsible for the regional count. We were also told in Wrecsam that the regional vote will be counted first and then constituencies and if we ain't finished by 4pm then we stop to count referendum votes! Sounds like fun!
My personal feelings are that:
Polls close at 10.00pm. Verification to start straight away and then ballots kept under lock and key until 9.00am the following day. Constituencies then count. Break for lunch. AV referendum then counts.
Saturday: Regional List Allocation
Is it worth paying the extra overtime money, and the increased risk of counting errors, for the sake of twelve hours? ISTM that only the broadcasters benefit.
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