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LEO

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Well, the law says that the polling station doors must be locked at 10pm and only those who have already been issued with a ballot paper are allowed to vote. I'm not saying I agree with this rigidity, but it is the law and has been for many years. It may be that the Electoral Commission review will recommend changes in the law for next time round.
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[quote user="Mr Coeur de Lion"]Only under a labour government... ;)[/quote]

Nonsense, elections in the UK are local responsibility and they ran out of papers in areas where Labour don't have a majority on some of the local councils that seemed to get it so wrong.

Apparently there's a UK directive which says everybody who was disenfranchised is due a payment of £750, which could blow another big hole in local authority budgets.

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A high turnout was predicted but in reality it seems to have only risen by 3-5% so why the polling booths have been taken by surprise is a unclear.

I suspect the problem was latecomers, probably the same ones who turn up at the airport 10 minutes before the checkin closes then complain that they were not late because it took them 15 minutes to park.

Of course it is only in the highly marginals that the odd couple of hundred votes could make the difference and for the rest it's just a shrug and a lesson for next time. Not much mileage in protesting about denied democratic rights for vote which would not have made a whit of difference anyway.

EDIT: Crossed posts, if there is £750 in the offing I'm sure everybody will be making a claim, and all for the right reasons of course [;-)]

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Last election the local school was closed, plenty of space, staff, booths and papers.

This time school was open and only one small room was available maximum of six people could vote at one time.

The council is conservative but the staff are no different which ever lot they work for.

People work longer and longer hours so its not surprising, wish I'd known about the £750 that would have got my vote [:)]

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[quote user="AnOther"]A high turnout was predicted but in reality it seems to have only risen by 3-5% so why the polling booths have been taken by surprise is a unclear.

I suspect the problem was latecomers, probably the same ones who turn up at the airport 10 minutes before the checkin closes then complain that they were not late because it took them 15 minutes to park.

Of course it is only in the highly marginals that the odd couple of hundred votes could make the difference and for the rest it's just a shrug and a lesson for next time. Not much mileage in protesting about denied democratic rights for vote which would not have made a whit of difference anyway.

EDIT: Crossed posts, if there is £750 in the offing I'm sure everybody will be making a claim, and all for the right reasons of course [;-)]

[/quote]

Still leaves quite a few million who never bothered to register to vote.

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Last election the local school was closed, plenty of space, staff, booths and papers.

This time school was open and only one small room was available maximum of six people could vote at one time.

The council is conservative but the staff are no different which ever lot they work for.

And herein lies the problem. The system of voting was designed in the 19th century. Only one list of registered voters is allowed in each polling station. Each voter must be crossed off on that register. The voters number must be written on the voting form counterfoil. The delays were due to queues building up as the result of a clerical bottleneck built into the system.

Knowing the high level of incompetence of government bodies when faced with designing and commissioning IT systems, even a simple electronic voting system woild be screwed up. This is not necessarily a problem existing solely in the UK ... remember how the hanging chads allowed an idiot into the White House?

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I said early this morning that many more than those who failed to get in to vote at 10pm  ould claim to have been there - but I didn't know about money being involved - I just thought some would find it a good story! How could people prove that they were turned away, unless officials made a list of names and addresses?

Our postal vote didn't arrive in France until Monday. We were out from before the post arrives (around 11.30!), and it was going to be too late to put it in the post on Tuesday. As we were leaving for UK on Wednesday anyway, the votes travelled in the car with us. We handed them in at our normal polling station at about 8 last night. There were large queues there then, although they were inside, as it's quite a large building; they turned various corners, and lines of people were waiting to enter the booths, voting slips in hands! I don't know about the situation there at 10pm, but there's no way people could have been rejected who were already inside the building, surely! It's a fairly calm quiet area, but there would have been mayhem!

I see our sitting MP, John Redwood, had an increased majority. He's a very good constituency MP, regardless of what people think of him or his politics. I've written to him on a number of topics over many years, and received back detailed replies, with copies of letters he's sent out on the various subjects, and replies he's had.

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[quote user="Iceni"]

[quote user="AnOther"]

Who is more entitled to vote than he or she who is prepared to lay down their life for their country [:'(]

[/quote]

Those with more sense of self preservation ?

John

[/quote]

Would the modified quote above still attract the same comment I wonder.?

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I see our sitting MP, John Redwood, had an increased majority. He's a very good constituency MP, regardless of what people think of him or his politics. I've written to him on a number of topics over many years, and received back detailed replies, with copies of letters he's sent out on the various subjects, and replies he's had.

Reading West had a swing of 12% to make the seat Tory after Martin Salter, who had something of a personal following, retired.

Rob Wilson increased his majority from 400 to 7000 - I have always found him to be a good constituency MP too.

The local shock was Oxford were a 'popular' sitting Lib Dem lost their seat to Conservatives by 200

My daughter went to vote about 7.30 and queued for over 30 minutes....

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[quote user="Russethouse"]

My daughter went to vote about 7.30 and queued for over 30 minutes....

[/quote]

Do you consider that unreasonable?

In some countries whole families have to walk for days, it was not that many years ago that the suffragettes gave a lot more of themselves to gain the vote for women.

Perhaps the queueing is inevitable if an election is held on a working day with people working later and later, I didnt know that the UK election was yesterday untill someone in my diving group asked me last night how it was going, I was ridiculed by everyone (quite rightly) for not knowing, I suppose that I had got used to the voting being done in France over the weekend which seems far more sensible to me.

Who won/is winning by the way?

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 No, I don't consider it unreasonable, but as you probably know I am a 'committed' voter, I don't always vote for the same party but I do always vote as I consider it a duty, all the more so as you say, there are  many people in the world who don't have the luxury of a vote, so I can tell you that queuing to vote is VERY unusual indeed, here at least.

I could not persuade my son to vote though, even when I pointed out he could spoil his paper, he could not be dissuaded from the idea that staying away was the bigger protest against the current system.

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I also regard voting as a duty, and would be prepared to go along and spoil my ballot paper if I was in such a turmoil about voting, although I would hope that would never happen. I was heartened to see so many young people waiting to vote when I was at the polling station, as I was on seeing the long queues of people waiting patiently in line to vote, some in the pouring rain, for well over an hour. These poor people were then turned away at 10pm. [:(]

Our Victorian method of voting has long needed an overhaul. Those wooden booths and a pencil on a piece of string need to be in a museum!

The position as of a few minutes ago is that Nick Clegg has stated he's standing by his earlier opinion that the party with the most seats and the most votes must try to form a government. That's the Conservatives. However I think it was Harriet Harperson who said a short while ago that the Prime Minister has the duty to try to form a government. Meanwhile, the Queen is carrying out investitures this morning, and I think all those politicians ought to go to bed and have a long sleep!  [:D]

 

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The First Past the Post system is unique to the UK (I think, correct me if I am wrong) - and is considered totally undemocratic by the rest of the world. Look at the figures

36% of the vote  =  306 seats

29%                    = 261

23                       =   55                                 does it make any sense?

I couldn't vote this year as we were too late for our postal vote application- but in the 39 years I did vote in the UK, my vote ended up automatically in the bin due to the FPTP system and where I lived. I still voted every time on principle - knowing full well the result in advance.

Time for Electoral Reform?

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[quote user="Russethouse"]

 I could not persuade my son to vote though, even when I pointed out he could spoil his paper, he could not be dissuaded from the idea that staying away was the bigger protest against the current system.

[/quote]

I dont know of your sons age but I must have been around 20 when I trotted out a simalar line to the local Labour councillor working in the same section as me, he patiently pointed out what would happen in circumstances of a hung parliament if all the dissatisfied voters had spoilt their ballots.

I voted in all the Uk general elections when I lived there but in my village it was always the same cronies that stood and were re-elected, I spoilt may ballot each time and wrote on it "spoilt ballot" for good measure, every time my vote was counted and I was a minority of one!

So your son is indeed IMHO wrong in his opinion but he is not alone.

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[quote user="Swissie"]The First Past the Post system is unique to the UK (I think, correct me if I am wrong) - and is considered totally undemocratic by the rest of the world. Look at the figures

36% of the vote  =  306 seats
29%                    = 261
23                       =   55                                 does it make any sense?

I couldn't vote this year as we were too late for our postal vote application- but in the 39 years I did vote in the UK, my vote ended up automatically in the bin due to the FPTP system and where I lived. I still voted every time on principle - knowing full well the result in advance.

Time for Electoral Reform?
[/quote]

No else we will end up like Greece (Oops we already have), Belgium etc where they spend more time 'doing deals' than running the country.

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People receive a polling card 6 weeks before the election stating the polls are open from 7am to 10pm. What are all these people doing to make them sooooo busy in that 15 hour span that they can't organise their time to vote before 10pm.

Pubs shut at 11pm, so if you want a drink you go before..........Same for voting..............Simples

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[quote user="Swissie"]The First Past the Post system is unique to the UK .

Time for Electoral Reform?
[/quote]

This had me thinking. The French Presidential election system doesn't strike me as being all THAT different, a run off between the highest scoring of a (possibly) large number of candidate. In the first round 69% of electors voted for someone other than Sarkozy, and in the previous election 80% of electors did not vote for Chirac.

The American presidential system is also first past the post, and in this case the president isn't even voted for by the people but by an electoral college whose voting behaviour is mandated by the popular vote.

What voting system do they have in Canada or Australia?

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