The Electoral Management Board for Scotland (EMB) was created by the Local Electoral Administration (Scotland) Act 2011, which gave the Board “the general function of coordinating the administration of Local Government elections in Scotland.”

This involves two specific roles:

  • assisting local authorities and other persons in carrying out their functions in relation to Local Government elections
  • promoting best practice in Local Government elections by providing information, advice or training (or otherwise).

Consisting of Returning Officers, their Deputes and Electoral Registration Officers, the EMB is under the leadership of a Convener who is appointed by Ministers, following an open application process. In the Scottish Independence Referendum, the Convener is the Chief Counting Officer.

The EMB operates on clear principles of promoting a consistent national approach to electoral administration and simplifying decision making – both with the aim of ensuring that the interests of voters are kept at the heart of all electoral activity.