Did anyone here about Sheffield? I'm getting this second, third hand, but allegedly a Returning Officer forced student voters registered in Sheffield to let permantent resident voters queue jump them. I heard about it here http://shakespearessister.blogspot....ction-widespread.html#disqus_thread .
Will try to find were it is from originaly.
I hadn't heard it put that way, but I did hear that those with polling cards were given priority... which may well have counted against students.
I don't know that much about law even in the US, let alone the U.K, but isn't that the sort of thing that gets results thrown out.
I feel really badly for the students - but why did so many people go so late (we know students can't drag their sorry backsides out of bed before 1pm... )
I can also empathise with one of the points on the BBC news site where apparently a resident had said to a student that she had more right to vote since she pays tax etc. Actually I have a lot of sympathy for that being a tax-payer and not allowed to vote where I live (my choice to live here notwithstanding)
To my mind there isn't enough emphasis on getting registered and making sure you have all the paperwork and details before the actual polling day. Given previous turn-outs, I can also understand that polling stations were undermanned given the large turn out this time
(yaay for that - does anyone know the percentage turn out compared to previous years?)
So what next?
Does anyone want to cover the cost of voiding the votes in those places and re-balloting? How long would that take?
Or should we restrict voting rights to taxpayers?
|Subject: The Nation Decides.|
Posted May 7, 2010 by KB
This is a reply to this Posting.
I have to say, though. If that's the best the Tories can do given the circumstances - Labour in power last 3 terms, with a constantly vilified leader, having alienated a fair bit of their traditional vote in one way and another, and in the middle of a recession - the Conservative party should be pretty embarrassed. They were all but handed this election in so many ways, and still they fail to win an overall majority.
You're right, KB. A lot of it is down to Cameron not being a man of the people in the same way as Thatcher was (and I use the word 'man' advisedly). I suspect Clegg may not be either, despite his glossy TV performances.
How did it go in Northern Ireland? Does the Westminster election mean anything anymore?
Well, it's official. There are 35 seats remaining to declare and the Conservatives need 36 for an outright majority.
They need a snooker to win.
wouldn't it be so much better if it was decided by snooker? you could go to the polling station and pot the coloured ball of your choice...
The BNP would go in-off
Well, Conservatives would be the blue ball, and Labour the red(s). Lib Dems yellow, Greens green, and the SNP, pinko commies that they are, the pink.
Which leaves the BNP the choice of brown or black.
The thing about not having polling cards is a bit of a red herring - it doesn't really speed things up at all.
I was very worried about the prospect of having people queuing out of the door at 9.55pm and had decided that if necessary we would squeeze people in, dish out the ballot papers (cos once an elector has this in his hand, he has to be allowed to vote), then verify their entitlement to vote and record the corresponding number, and then - and only then - allow them to cast the vote. We would have had to have had staff standing over the the ballot boxes to make sure that nobody slipped in a paper unrecorded, and it would have taken hours, and it would have been bending the rules. But really, polling station staff should not be put in that position. They have enough to deal with as it is.
Anyway, in the event our busiest hour was the team-time slot (6 to 7pm, when we processed 10% of our voters, and had some queues) and although there was the usual late surge after the soaps, we had almost nobody between 9 and 10 and were able to start dismantling at 9.50.
A number of people handed in their postal ballot paper at the polling station and that's a good way of queue jumping - but obviously needs to be set up in advance.
Lunchtime, which I had expected to be busy with people popping in during their break, was one of our quietest times - presumably reflecting the fact that nowadays, people tend to work some distance from where they live.
<mulls for a bit>
OK, the problem is this. Each polling district has its own electoral register, and under the current system, every voter turning up to vote has to be checked off *manually* against the paper copy of that register - ie, by looking up the street in the index, and then finding the house number (these are usually listed by all the odds, then all the evens, rather than in number order). Of course when you are doing it for 15 hours you get used to where to look, but even so, if we continue to use paper, ruler and pencil to do this there is no real way this can be speeded up, except by making polling districts smaller (so there is less paper to flick through to find the elector), and restricting each polling station to one polling district. My station had two polling districts, which meant we had two registers. So inevitably it took a fraction longer to process each elector.
I would guess that the polling stations which had problems were ones where the polling districts were big, and had not been split into manageable sizes. We had three polling stations in the room yesterday - one district was split across two stations, and there were two other (small) polling districts, one at a station of its own, and one bundled with my share of the large polling district. We were potentially handling just over 1,400 voters at my polling station yesterday, once we'd knocked out the postal voters (about 20% of the electorate). In fact we dealt with just over half that number, and apart from that one hour we managed comfortably.
I would not have wanted to have had more than 1,400 on my registers. Yes, we had quiet times, but they enabled us to give staff a break. The busy time was *relentless*.
We did have ballot papers for everybody, though.
|Subject: The Nation Decides.|
Posted May 7, 2010 by Elentari
This is a reply to this Posting.
I stayed up till half four and Jacqui Smith losing her seat, then gave up and went back to bed. It had become clear that nothing would be decided overall and there was no sign of the result for my constituency. (I've just looked it up and my preferred candidate won with a majority of less than 200, which is even less than last time, but the turnout was huge - 72.4%!)
That's fascinating, Mol - many thanks for posting it
I guess people will be warned to vote early next time. I doubt they will invest in more polling stations and smaller registers.
There wouldn't necessarily need to be an investment in more polling places - we had three polling stations in the one hall, and could have fitted in a fourth, at a pinch. But each station needs a minimum of two staff. The rate of pay varies according to how many elections are going on simultaneously (ie, we get paid a little bit more if there is a local election as well as a general one) but let's say the total staffing cost for a two-staff station would around £350, and with an 20 extra stations in each area. That doesn't tot up to a huge amount of money per council in the grand scheme of things. It's certainly cheaper than paying £750 compensation each to lots of people who were unable to vote (although I doubt anybody will win that one).
The count would probably be quicker too. It's easier to verify the ballot papers when there are fewer of them in the box. And it tends to be the verifying stage that holds things up.
Appararently Mandelmort has complained that the voting fiasco has favoured the Conservatives "as conservatives vote earlier in the day".
Oh, I needed that.
What is he *on*?!
In general, the people who vote later in the day are either those who, for practical (work, feeding children) reasons *can't* turn up earlier in the day - is he saying that conservatives all have short-hour jobs and nannies? - or they are those who perhaps wouldn't normally vote, or haven't quite made up their minds about it but feel they ought to. And who's to say how they might vote? They're hardly likely to turn up in "What time of day do you vote?" opinion polls as staunchly for *any* party.
Most of our first timers arrived in the evening.
thanks for sharing that Mol, it's fascinating.
Fancy turning it into an entry?
I should, really, shouldn't I?
But right now I'm so tired I can't decide whether to go to bed or not
Link to that Mandelmort comment, as someone's bound to want it. Paragraph 4.
NI results, since someone asked.
A disaster for Ulster Unionist and Conservatives - no seats.
Not great for the DUP either - First Minister loses his seat to Belfast's mayor Naomi Long, who wins the first Westminster Seat for the centrist non-green-non-orange Alliance party - great night for them with increased share of the vote.
SF did well, and the SDLP are pretty happy with their result.
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