Douglas Bain

Chief Electoral Officer
Electoral Office for Northern Ireland
Focus Area(s): 
Critical Tasks: 
Michael Scharff
Country of Reform: 
Northern Ireland
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Date of Interview: 
Friday, September 17, 2010

Douglas Bain discusses his role as chief electoral officer with the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.  Bain talks about several methods he instituted to bolster trust and confidence in the Electoral Office, including having his staff mask as voters and approach staff at local election offices in order to test the local staff’s responsiveness to a variety of questions and requests.  Bain also discusses his efforts to ensure the accuracy of voter registration forms to defend against voter fraud. Looking to future elections, he suggests greater transparency in the voting process can be accomplished through increased public outreach by election officials.  Bain also stresses the need for greater efforts to combat voter intimidation by the political parties.

Case Study: Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Elections in Northern Ireland, 2005

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Full Interview: 
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Douglas Bain - Full Interview

At the time of this interview, Douglas Bain was the chief electoral officer with the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.  A lawyer by training, he held a number of positions in the Northern Ireland Office, a department of the U.K. government responsible for Northern Ireland affairs.  Prior to joining the Electoral Office, Bain served as director of services in the Northern Ireland Prison Service.

Douglas Bain
Northern Ireland
Voter Registration
voter fraud
voter education
vote counting
registration audit
election security
Election Management Body