Independent Scrutineer

Independent Scrutineer

Electoral Reform Services acts as Independent Scrutineer to a wide range of organisations, from Trade Unions to Membership organisations and private companies.

The law requires that union elections and ballots must be supervised by an independent scrutineer, appointed by the union.

For companies, our role is defined by Sections 342–351 of the Companies Act 2006. We are appointed as Independent Scrutineer, either pre-emptively by our client or because of shareholder requisitions.

We can review your process before the election, to ensure that you have the correct processes in place for a secure and accurate ballot. Or we can simply do a final check of your results, to make sure they bear scrutiny. Either way, our appointment as Independent Scrutineer brings integrity to your results and minimizes the risk of a challenge.

Role of the Independent Scrutineer

Some organisations appoint internal stakeholders as their scrutineers for elections or ballots. When an independent person is appointed to perform the role, he/she is referred to as an Independent Scrutineer.

The role of the Independent Scrutineer  can be as wide as required to meet an organisation’s needs.  The role is always related to the administration of the ballot required for an electoral event but may sometimes be extended to cover the administration of a nomination process, if required. The Scrutineer will be responsible for overseeing the production and distribution of the electoral material to all eligible voters and for ensuring that the votes cast, whether electronically, in person or by post, have been accurately recorded and counted. The Scrutineer may also be required to report on whether any relevant rules or legislation relating to the ballot or nomination process have been adhered to. This is particularly the case in relation to some trade union ballots where the requirement and role of the Independent Scrutineer is set out in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

What’s the difference between Independent Scrutineer and Returning Officer?

The role of the Independent Scrutineer can be distinguished from that of the Returning Officer  who has the overall responsibility for the conduct of the electoral project. A Scrutineer will usually report only on the administration of the electoral project, whereas a Returning Officer has a much wider responsibility.

Appointing an Independent Scrutineer with the knowledge, expertise and capability to administer electoral projects is an important consideration for any organisation planning an election or ballot. It helps to inspire confidence in the election process and brings integrity to the results.

To appoint ERS as your Independent Scrutineer, please get in touch using our contact form.