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Local elections in England and Wales

On this page, you will find all of our guidance and resources for Returning Officers administering local government elections in England and Wales. 

This guidance is intended for non-scheduled by-elections and does not cover guidance for Returning Officers who are administering combined Police and Crime Commissioner and local government elections on 5 May 2016.

For guidance on administering combined Police and Crime Commissioner and local government elections on 5 May 2016, please click here.

If you want to download emblems for political parties, visit our online database.

Guidance on these pages is being updated for polls on 5 May 2016.  If you have any questions, please contact your local Commission team.

Part B

Planning and organisation

This part covers:

  • Planning (including the identification and training of staff, the selection and booking of venues and management of contractors and suppliers)
  • How to maintain the integrity of the election
  • Raising awareness
  • Access to proceedings by electoral observers and Commission representatives

Part B: Planning and organisation (PDF)

Part C

Administering the poll

This part covers:

  • The nomination period (including access to the register by candidates, spending limits and the nominations process)
  • The production of notices, poll cards and ballot papers
  • Polling station voting

Part C: Administering the poll (PDF)

Click here to view resources for Part C: Administering the poll

Part D

Absent voting

This part covers:

  • The absent voting timetable
  • Proxy voting
  • Preparations for absent voting processes and the production of stationery
  • Procedures for the issue, receipt and opening of postal votes

Part D: Absent voting (PDF)

Part E

Verifying and counting the votes

This part covers:

  • The principles for an effective verification and count
  • Preparations for the count
  • Managing the verification and count
  • Verification and count procedures

Part E: Verifying and counting the votes (PDF)

Electoral administrator