Solace Annual Elections Conference 2016


21 Jan 2016


Grant Thornton
30 Finsbury Square



This event was hosted by

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Aim of the Conference

In the last three years we have seen unprecedented pressures on registration and electoral services as the number and range of elections has grown and we have introduced the most radical change to registration in the modern era. The pace and scale of the challenge is set to continue with local, PCC and the EU Referendum set for 2016/17. At the same time the Electoral Community is facing huge cuts, loss of human resources, expertise and know how. The conference explores these issues in looking to the future of registration and elections.



Registration and Refreshments


Welcome and Introduction from the Chair
Chair: Dr Clive Grace, B.Soc Sci., MA, D.Phil, PDM, FRSA, Solicitor, OBE


Keynote Session: Ministerial address
The modernisation of registration and electoral processes
This session will reflect on the success to date of the transition to individual electoral registration and to share thoughts on the future of elections policy and the desire to explore the modernization of the electoral process.
Speaker: John Penrose MP Parliamentary Secretary (Minister for Constitutional Reform)


The regulators perspective: The future of elections and registration. The implications for good practice
The Electoral Commission will give a perspective on the risks and opportunities for the electorate in the changes introduced in IER and the prospects for modernizing the electoral process.
Speaker: Claire Bassett, Chief Executive Electoral Commission

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The Practitioners’ Perspective: The management of Elections and Registration
This session will reflect on the lessons learned from the changes introduced to electoral registration, the challenges associated with the number and range of elections taking place, the appetite for more change and what electoral professionals need from their Chief Executives/Returning Officers.
Speaker: John Turner, Chief Executive Association of Electoral Administrators

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Refreshment break


Panel Discussion
Chair: Dr Clive Grace OBE
Returning Officer: Mark Heath, Director, Place, Southampton City Council
Cabinet Office: Paul Docker, Head of Electoral Administration, Cabinet Office
Electoral Commission: Andrew Scallan, Director of Electoral Administration
Association of Electoral Administrators: John Turner




Election Law – update on Key issues
Speaker: Tim Straker QC, 4-5 Grays Inn Square

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The future is Digital. Modernising Elections through Digitisation
In the absence of large scale change in the electoral process in the immediate future and given the scale of the challenge to maintain standards in elections with reducing resources, the electoral community needs to embrace changes in business processes. Understanding the opportunity is the key to starting this journey.
Speaker: Neil McCallum, Director, Critiqom

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Elections: What Next?
Speaker: Dr Dave Smith


Chair: Dr Clive Grace OBE