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Not Apathetic

Tell the world why you're not voting - don't let your silence go unheard

They're not voting because...

I couldn't agree more with the spoiling...

I couldn't agree more with the spoiling the voting paper option. If we really do live in a free and democratic country, then why isn't there an extra box for exactly that. It might tell the rest of the electorate as well as the political 'classes' what us dumb electorate really think.

written 12th Apr 2005

Responses

Lou replies: Don't spoil your paper. Stay at home instead and write to your local rag or something and explain why. If you spoil you validate the whole process by boosting the turnout figures. Don't spoil. Stay at home. Write some letters.

written 12th Apr 2005

TL replies: I am getting really sick and tired of this spoiling ballot nonsense.

Spoiling your ballot will tell nobody anything (other than the fact you are incapable of making a valid vote).

Your spoiled ballot (spoiled out of political protest) is in NO WAY any different to the spoiled ballot of someone who was too thick to fill it in correctly. They do not make separate little piles of each type of spoiled ballot based on the reason for spoiling. They only list the types of invalidity (e.g. illegible, multiple selection, blank etc).

You spoiled vote will therefore have zero effect as you will be lumped in with all these other reasons for vote rejection.

Also, a spoiled ballot does NOT mean "None of the Above", it actually means "ANY of the above are fine by me", this is because you have placed a vote (and offered your support) but without specifying who this support was for. So in fact you are supporting all of them.

I am pretty sure you would not consider a vote in which an X had been placed next to every single candidate on the form, as a "none of the above" vote (you'd probably consider that to be an "All of the above" vote). But in reality there is no real electoral distinction between the example given above (multiple X's) and any kind of spoiled vote that was made out of protest (both will be rejected). They are all just spoiled ballots.

Only by witholding your vote are you saying "None of these candidates are worthy of receiving my vote".

Lou is completely correct when he says that spoiled ballots only serve to validate and legitimse the current (flawed) electoral process. By spoiling your ballot you are only adding your support to the winning party, because with a high public turnout the winning party can truthfully say that they won the election in a vote where the majority of the population turned out, therefore the public has given its consent to be governed by this winning party.

I suggest you read some other posts on this subject on this site and wise up to the nonsense that is being spouted about spoiled ballots.

http://www.notapathetic.com/comments/323

http://www.notapathetic.com/comments/574

http://www.notapathetic.com/comments/662

http://www.notapathetic.com/comments/526

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QUOTE (from another message on this site):

I have been looking into the spoiled paper is 'none of the above'

Googling around showed lots of people believe this but it is not true.

There is a good link on the bbc to how the count is done
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/vote2001/hi/english/voting_system/newsid_1171000/1171887.stm)

I then wrote to my MP for clarification. I asked the following question:

"I have been told that spoiled ballot papers are counted and act as a vote for 'none of the above' whereas not voting is effectively 'any of the above'. If enough spoiled papers were submitted, the election would have to be re-run. Is this true?"

The reply came:

"The returning officer at our election details the number of votes cast for each candidate and the number of papers rejected, both in total and in each of the categories for rejection. A ballot paper can be rejected for the following reasons - voting for more than one candidate, writing or a mark by which the voter could be
identified, unmarked or void for uncertainty. There is no seperate category for spoilt ballots and thus the scenario you propose could not happen"

Hence spoiling your paper is the same as not voting (except that it wastes the counters time). The net result is not voting or spoiling your paper actually means 'Any of the above'

Vote for the party closest to your views rather than the party you think will win unless you really feel that any of them are good enough to represent you.

written 13th Apr 2005

Ginge replies: I queried this with the Electoral Commission because I had noted that spoilkt ballots were not counted in all regions during the last election. They are requesting that this is so this time around and are re-assesing whether a NOTA entry should be allowed. I have more detail but don't want to bore you. Either spoling or no turn out counts to an extent. Turning up and voting for one party JUST because you don't like the one currently in power is a cop-out.

Ginge

written 14th Apr 2005

Chris replies: firstly, thanks to TL for pointing me to this thread as a response to my note 863.

Fact
spoilt papers ARE counted and totalled

lack of votes ARE NOT.

as i mentioned in my note, one or two spoilt papers make no difference, it's one or two boos in a stadium of cheers. So yes at the moment the effect is small. probably statistically insignificant.

but so is an equivalent number of votes for any candidate

not voting is saying nothing. it is an excuse of the lazy who can't be bothered, either to take an active interest in local or national politics or to walk the half mile or so to the polling booth.

the evidence of the last few weeks is that poor turnouts encourages politicians to boost numbers by fradulent means. does anyone really genuinly think that a turnout boosted by 10% of available votes with those papers spoilt will not be of interest to politicians?

if anyone does, actually ask a politician

i did

the result as you can probably expect is that they would be interested and would try to find out what could be done to "convert" those voters

his words not mine

not voting means not taking part in the electoral and democratic process.

spoiling your paper is, and until we get "none of the above" on a ballot paper it is the most active way to protest.

if enough papers were spoilt in a manner that demonstrates that the spoilers knew what they were doing and were not just unable to fill out a paper properly, then maybe the NOTA box will appear.

if anyone from the electoral commission or similar reads these postings (and if they are not they are seroiusly failing in their duty) a response would be very illuminating.

Ginge i wholeheartedly agree with your last sentence.

written 21st Apr 2005

About Not Apathetic

NotApathetic was built so that people who are planning not to vote in the UK General Election on May 5th can tell the world why. We won't try to persuade you that voting is a good or a bad idea - we're just here to record and share your explanations. Whether ideological, practical or other, any reason will do.

A lot of users would like us to mention that if you spoil your ballot paper, it will be counted. So if you want to record a vote for "none of the above", you can.

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