Postal vote opening sessions

Postal vote opening sessions are run by the (Acting) Returning Officer for each election and their electoral services team. Candidates, their election agents and a person appointed by a candidate to attend in their election agent’s place are entitled to attend the opening of returned postal votes. Additionally, candidates may appoint postal voting agents to attend openings on their behalf. 

Anyone attending a postal vote opening session has a duty to maintain secrecy. Ballot papers will be kept face down throughout a postal vote opening session. Anyone attending an opening session must not attempt to see how individual ballot papers have been marked and must not keep a tally of how ballot papers have been marked.

Our guidance for candidates and agents contains more information about the postal vote opening session process, and the role of observers.  

In relation to the postal vote opening sessions in Elmbridge, the RO has issued a statement here: