A Day in the Life of a Returning Officer - Fiona Lees

Thu 14th November 2019 at 18.30 - 20.00

Fiona, Chief Executive of East Ayrshire Council, will be speaking to us on Thursday 14th November. She has been involved in elections for nearly 30 years and been a Returning Officer since 2004.

With the forthcoming General Election, Fiona says "It is a tremendous privilege to support my fellow citizens in the election process and I place great importance in my responsibility to make sure everyone is able to cast their vote.

Since the formation of East Ayrshire Council in 1996, I have supported 6 Council Elections, 5 Scottish Parliament Elections, 6 UK Goverment Elections, 5 EU Elections and 4 Referenda. I hope that this will be enjoyable and of interest.

Fiona Lees has a Twitter account which is @EACChiefExec. The Council's website is https://www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk; their Facebook page can be found at East Ayrshire Council or on Instagram at eastayrshirecouncil.

Published report:-

East Ayrshire Council’s Chief Executive was the speaker at Kilmarnock Rotary this week. With a talk entitled ‘A Day in the life of a Returning Officer’ Fiona Lees told members of her role on polling day. In her time as Chief Executive Fiona has overseen six council elections, six UK parliamentary elections, five Scottish parliament elections, five EU elections, and four referenda, so she has plenty of experience in the role. Throughout the Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency Fiona is responsible for 34 polling stations with 155 staff and expects a potential turnout of around 60,000 voters. Her day starts at 5am and she begins visiting polling stations from 7am, and she thoroughly enjoys going round the community and meeting people. At the close of voting she goes to the Galleon Centre in Kilmarnock to supervise the opening of the ballot boxes and the counting process. Finally, and at the end of a long day, she announces the results. Fiona is ably assisted by Council staff and has the full support of Police Scotland at polling stations and the count.

The general election on the 12th December is the first since 1923 and Fiona is hoping for good weather!

A very enjoyable and informative talk which provoked a lot of questions and discussions.

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