Parliamentary Elections Returning Officer
By 2019 James Hervey-Bathurst
One of the official duties reserved for the High Sheriff is to declare the election results as Returning Officer for the county, if he or she wishes to do the job. I did, so attended at the invitation of the Herefordshire Council Chief Executive, Alistair Neill at the counting station in the Hereford Leisure Centre.
The count was organised by Rosalie Schultz, Head of Corporate Services, and seemed to run smoothly, so that the results were ready before 5am. I shared the role with the Chief executive, and he declared first the result for South Herefordshire (Jesse Norman MP). I followed with North Herefordshire (Bill Wiggin MP), following a carefully-written script as whatever I declared, whether accurate or not, would be the result that applied.
Sadly, the declaration was not covered by national TV as I was told the results were 99% certain not to change-and they did not.