Subsidiary legislation should lay out clear and precise regulations and administrative instructions for the electoral process.
- Whatever the source, legislation should be consistent with other laws and provide adequate detail on all aspects of the electoral process, limiting the opportunity for inconsistent or subjective interpretation.
- Electoral related laws and regulations also should be reviewed by drafters to remove ambiguities wherever possible.
- In practice, it appears that the time needed to count the votes depends on the efficiency of the presiding officer of the polling station. These times can vary markedly, which is why a simple tried and tested procedure should be set out in the legislation or permanent regulations which appear in the training manual for polling station officials.
- Subsidiary legislation, including clear and detailed regulations and administrative instructions should also be promulgated and should respect these general requirements.
- The relevant regulations should stipulate certain practical precautions as regards equipment. For example, the record of the proceedings should be completed in ballpoint pen rather than pencil, as text written in pencil can be erased.
- The law must be very clear as to what sites observers are not entitled to visit, so that their activities are not excessively hampered. For example, an act authorising observers to visit only sites where the election (or voting) takes place could be construed by certain polling stations in an unduly narrow manner
- For the rest, the electoral law should normally have the rank of statute law. Rules on implementation, in particular those on technical questions and matters of detail, can nevertheless be in the form of regulations.