Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday, 27 August 2004

" 'All Postal' voting not safe" rule Electoral Commission

I have been voting using a postal vote for the past four or so years so am aware personally of exactly how it functions. Originally I got myself a postal vote just to see how the postal voting system functions, in practice, and whilst I think it is a valid option I also think it would be folly to make it the only way of casting a vote, as the Government seems to want to do.The system, whilst pretty good if it is used as it was designed to be used, is in fact worryingly wide open to abuse if you are so minded. It is also cumbersome to operate.

Today's ruling by the Electoral Commission that plans for all-postal voting should be abandoned is, so far as I am concerned, welcome. This follows a trial in four of the English regions at the recent European Parliament elections, which revealed them to be "marred by complexity, logistics, abuse claims and a tight timetable". It seems that areas in which postal voting has become widely-used, or where it has been compulsory, have shown a larger turnout of voters than recently, but if this is at the risk of the integrity of the system then the added convenience is probably too high a price to pay.

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