Freesteel Blog » If you put numbers on your ballot they will throw your vote away

If you put numbers on your ballot they will throw your vote away

Sunday, May 8th, 2011 at 9:38 pm Written by:

Cross-posted from ElectionLeaflet blog where there are some interesting angry comments. An FOI request has been made to the Electoral Commission to see if they can account for their policy.

I cannot put into words how pissed off I am with the FPTP electoral system which requires me to choose between wasting my vote on the candidate I like, or casting it for the second most disagreeable candidate on the ballot sheet knowing that it will be counted as an endorsement for every rotten policy they stand for.

For me, the Alternative Vote referendum was a brief ray of hope before it was buried under a land-fill of lies — not helped by the mind-blowing incompetence of the Yes campaign whose organizers and paymasters (who chose those organizers) should hunted down and pilloried.

I am so disappointed.

I thought to myself yesterday: “Sod this. The FPTP system offends me so much I am just going to vote as though I had an alternative vote by numbering my preferences on the ballot form.”

Then I’m going down to the overnight Count to see what the Government does with my vote.

I thought I was going to be the only fool in the country to carry out such a stupid idea.

Turns out loads of people had done it. There were ballots with numbers on them in the spoil tray for every single ward across Liverpool City. I don’t doubt it was the same everywhere else in the country.

None of the pro-AV campaigners noticed this until I dragged them over to see. None of the party workers cared either, because if a vote doesn’t count it doesn’t matter to them.

But I do care. Because I did it and I’m going to carry on doing it.

My vote never counts in my particular ward or Parliamentary constituency anyway — ever — because it is a safe-as-a-brick-privvy Labour seat. The only election where my vote ever mattered was in the European Parliamentary election, because it was proportional.

What does the law say?

Well, the Electoral Commission — among all the other stuff they don’t do — produces a plethora of large-font guidebooks that lays out the rules.

Here is the page from Dealing with doubtful ballot papers — Supporting local government elections in England and Wales:

The ruling is Cornwell v. Marshall [1977] 75 LGR 676 DC from the following list of precedence.

As said, this is enacted by Rule 47(1)(b), Schedule 2 of The Local Elections (Principal Areas) (England and Wales) Rules 2006.

Oh well. So it’s case closed then. Because thirty-five years ago some old dude in a wig with a wooden hammer said if you dared put numbers on your ballot sheet then they were going to throw it in the bin. Even though your first preference vote “One” was absolutely clear.

But wait!

What the heck is this from Page 6 of Dealing with doubtful ballot papers — Supporting UK Parliamentary elections, then?

As so it says in Rule 58(5), Schedule 2 of The Scottish Parliament (Elections etc.) Order 2007:

(5) Where different numbers have been written by a voter on a ballot paper apparently as a vote in a sequential order of preference, and the ballot would otherwise be rejected under this rule, the ballot shall be treated as a vote for the candidate (or in the case of a regional ballot paper, for the individual candidate or registered party) against whom the number 1 appears.

So, what gives? The court case simply doesn’t matter. To count your votes all they have to do is insert this sentence into the Rules for England, and it’s done.

But they’re not going to even consider something so simple as that.

Because the deal is if you don’t cooperate fully with their crappy electoral system that enables those elected to misappropriate your tactical vote as an endorsement for their agenda, then you can piss right off.

And that’s how it goes.

PS: Keep uploading or sending in those leaflets to No honest person will regret having them for future reference.

1 Comment

  • 1. Freesteel&hellip replies at 24th June 2011, 11:05 pm :

    […] with her assistant about it and got it past. Then I ran into her again a couple of months later on the night of the local election count. She recognized me and remembered what I was talking about. I sent her a suggestion for an […]

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