Incorrect Ballot Papers

A place to discuss the issues relating to the proposed change in the national CTC’s structure.
swansonj
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby swansonj » 1 Dec 2010, 3:54pm

Snakes wrote: .... me as Returning Officer at CTC National Office (peter.jackson@ctc.org.uk)....


Just out of interest, if Peter is the returning officer, why are we sending our ballot papers back to Kevin Mayne?

John

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Yorkshireman
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby Yorkshireman » 1 Dec 2010, 4:29pm

Snakes wrote:
Any questions or problems associated with voting forms should be referred to me as Returning Officer at CTC National Office (peter.jackson@ctc.org.uk). All errors will be investigated. Replacement voting forms will be issued if necessary or appropriate.

Peter Jackson
Operations Director / Returning Officer


PLEASE NOTE: THIS POST HAS BEEN PLACED BY CTC STAFF ON BEHALF OF PETER. ANY ISSUES IN RELATION TO THE BALLOT PAPERS SHOULD BE SENT DIRECTLY TO PETER AS PER HIS REQUEST.


Where else might the above information be displayed (not all members may be following this particular thread)? I've just had another look in Cycle and can't see it in there.
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Clarion
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby Clarion » 1 Dec 2010, 4:55pm

We received a ballot paper for the four members in our house with five spaces on it, and one name repeated.

I am the person who started the quick'n'dirty survey in a place where a large number of CTC members visit, as I had picked up on the comments of others about their papers being wrong.

So far, we have ten members reporting incorrect ballot papers, three not yet received, and one received by a former member. This represents over 23% of the respondents. While there is no scientific methodology to that survey, it casts significant doubts on the preparations made for this ballot. I am certain, from my involvement in, inter alia, the National Trust, that the Charity Commissioners would not accept this degree of error, which raises questions in itself.

The Returning Officer should make the announcement much wider than just this forum, as we have an important and probably widespread issue here, and votes should be properly verified.

In addition, we should have a published protocol for acceptance/rejection of ballot papers. Will papers be rejected if there is a blank vote? Or will all votes be disregarded if there is an unverifiable vote on a paper? Or will votes simply be counted, and any errors accepted? Can we have an assurance that the same standard will apply to both 'yes' and 'no' votes.
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Clarion
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby Clarion » 1 Dec 2010, 4:56pm

swansonj wrote:
Snakes wrote: .... me as Returning Officer at CTC National Office (peter.jackson@ctc.org.uk)....


Just out of interest, if Peter is the returning officer, why are we sending our ballot papers back to Kevin Mayne?

John


That is a very valid concern, especially for staffers, whose votes are identified, and passing over KM's desk.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Dec 2010, 5:01pm

I certainly hope that anybody with an apparently defective ballot paper will bring it to attention on here, in addition to any other action they may take.

ChrisOrton
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby ChrisOrton » 1 Dec 2010, 5:07pm

I too received an incorrect ballot paper, containing, as well as mine, the name of someone I had no knowledge of.
I am being sent a correct paper(!) but have just been told it was an 'error'.
I have replied asking how widespread this has been and the extent to which this might call the entire poll into question.
I am not impressed with the conduct of this poll. It might have been expensive, but employing the Electoral Reform Society to conduct it, which most organisations concerned with accuracy, democracy, and impartiality do, would have given me, at least, greater confidence in the outcome, whatever it might be.

The entire episode causes me some unease.

Chris Orton

Clarion
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby Clarion » 1 Dec 2010, 8:54pm

ERS should have been used.
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clem the moderniser
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby clem the moderniser » 1 Dec 2010, 9:37pm

Yorkshireman wrote:Welcome to the Forum clem the moderniser.
I don't think that there's any whingeing going on. This vote is likely to be quite important and taking that into account I (personally) think that this particular voting system appears to be less than well organized considering the number of errors re ballot papers noted on here (and YACF), not to mention the way that it's going to be run ie Who will be counting and tallying the votes? Who will verify the tally? What confidentially issues might there be ?

Thank you for the good natured welcome - am getting a bit worried about the lack of trust voiced in the voting system ,reminds me of the slugging match between Sinn Fein and the Unionists at the last election in Fermanagh and South Tyrone, numerous recounts and then a court case

thirdcrank
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Dec 2010, 9:49pm

clem the moderniser

The answer is being meticulous with the way a ballot is organised and that's not necessarily easy for somebody with little or no experience of doing it. Even organisations which make regular use of ballots like post-Thatcher trades unions and seem to use ERS as a matter of routine can see their best efforts challenged in the courts and the media. I don't think anybody has raised any queries at all over the way the ERS organised the postal voting in connection with the AGM.

In the present circumsatances, I'm wondering if it's physically possible to score an own goal, once you have shot yourself in the foot. :mrgreen:

thirdcrank
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby thirdcrank » 2 Dec 2010, 5:35pm

I wonder if this is the right time to offer a word of support to Peter Jackson who has been mentioned above as the Returning Officer? Whatever the ins and outs with this and I'd not know him if I met him in the street, I can imagine that at the moment he is feeling pretty wretched. Whatever else is going on, these inaccurate voting papers are obviously not part of some wider plot but what Reggie Perrin's military brother-in-law might have termed a cock-up on the administration front. It sounds as though it's a symptom of some malaise in the membership recording system or something along those lines. A one-off mailing like this must be a logistical challenge. It's the sort of thing you sweat over for some time and finally you think you have 'put it to bed.' Feeling chuffed that the job has been completed on time and feeling that it was hard but worth it in the end the phone goes. :cry: I know, because I've been there.

Presumably it's now decisions, decisions. Do we pull it or hope for the best? How great is the problem? Is there any way of finding out? And so on. AFAIK, the main publicity for the vote has been in the mag, so anybody who's not online and who didn't get their copy didn't get a voting paper either but they probably don't know - or not yet anyway.

So in the middle of raising this issue, AKA whingeing or whatever, let's spare a sincere thought for Mr Jackson.

As a bit of an aside, my form seemed to say that the company secretary was the returning officer and the contact name on there was Kevin Mayne so I'm a bit surprised that somebody else is now being put forward. (Mine's now 'in the post' so I cannot check the exact wording.)

David Cox
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby David Cox » 2 Dec 2010, 6:22pm

I am sure that Peter will appreciate your kind words. He is a great servant of the club and soon to retire. As a Councillor I find him very wise and well informed and as you say likes to do a good job. It is Peter who is resolving queries like the two "unwaged spouses who opt not to get the magazine" who contacted me. They get their voting slip by post and these arrived on Monday.

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gaz
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby gaz » 2 Dec 2010, 6:27pm

Here's the prompt, informative and courteous reply I received from Peter, "mystery member's" name removed.

Dear Gary,

I am really sorry that your voting form is incorrect. I admit that yours is not an isolated instance as I have had - to date - six other errors reported to me, all of which have been corrected. Whilst this is six too many, and I suspect more will arise in the coming weeks, it must be remembered that we have nearly 67,000 members, so the number of errors needs to be put into perspective.

With regard to "mystery member", he is a Household member of CTC and he has mistakenly been linked to your record instead of his wife's record. This incorrect linking has been the cause of all the errors that I have investigated.

With regard to your other point, I do not understand the double entry for your son as this is inconsistent with our membership database and the data file used create the voting papers where there is only one entry for your son. I have used the same data to create a replacement voting form for you without "mystery member's" name on it and this has only one entry for your son. The replacement voting form for you will be sent out next week, but I would be very grateful indeed if you are able either to scan the original form and email it to me or post it to me personally so that I can investigate this further.

Once again, please accept my apologies for the error,

Regards, Peter


I'm quite happy to keep the matter in perspective. However given the low turn out in the AGM vote I feel it more appropriate to keep it in perspective of the AGM turn-out figure for motion 8, 4036 at least until the turnout for the current vote is known. I nevertheless expect it to be a very, very small percentage of the total.

I've scanned my form and e-mailed it back so that mini-me's double entry can be investigated further.
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meic
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby meic » 2 Dec 2010, 6:41pm

My wife with her own CTC card and membership number, doesnt get the magazine either and she wasnt on our other voting forms.
Do I read Dave Cox's reply to mean that she will get sent a separate voting form in the post or does she have to chase it up.
How long should she wait?

Of course she knows fully well that she doesnt have to chase anything up as I will do it for her if she says she cant be bothered. :lol:
Yma o Hyd

David Cox
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby David Cox » 2 Dec 2010, 8:05pm

Meic,
She should get it in the post but might be as well to email Peter Jackson to make sure.
David

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meic
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby meic » 2 Dec 2010, 8:10pm

Thank you.
Yma o Hyd