The EMB has undertaken a further review of the need for multiple days of poll and has submitted its findings to Scottish Ministers.
In December 2020 the EMB provided Ministers with an initial assessment of the need to hold polling over multiple days, an option presented by the Scottish General Election (Coronavirus) Act. We have revisited that assessment over recent weeks to consider again the various arguments included in that paper. A paper in which we provide current advice around the need for multiple days of poll, following that further assessment has been provided to Ministers and is available here.
Our position remains that a single day should be sufficient to allow polling to be conducted safely and without unacceptable queues or congestion. This position assumes that Returning Officers implement a range of mitigating measures, as discussed in the paper and in the previous advice. In order to add a supplementary level of contingency I have determined that it is appropriate for me formally to direct Returning Officers to place a ceiling on the number of in-person voters that they allocate to each station. That further direction was made on 3 February 2021..
As we have noted previously, Returning Officers need early clarity on the number of days of poll as arrangements need to be made for securing polling places and stations in early course. These considerations and conclusion are expanded more fully in the full paper. .