They're not voting because...
- My vote is not anonymous. It should ...
My vote is not anonymous. It should be between me and my conscience. How many people realise that voting slips are marked with their voting number for future analysis?written 13th Apr 2005
Dan Gurden replies: Actually this is incorrect.
Voting slips are taken from a pre-printed pad, and have successive numbers... Like raffle tickets.
All you voting number does when you give it to the officials is list whether you have voted or not.
Your vote is still between you and your concience however.written 13th Apr 2005
Lou replies: Ah but Dan the officials at the polling booth write the serial number of the voting slip they hand to you against your entry in the Electoral Register. So your actual ballot paper could quite easily be tracked back to you. Secret it certainly ain't. Good myth tho innit :-)written 13th Apr 2005
Jimmy Nutmeg replies: so what? aside from the fact that records aren't kept (it's very expensive and local authorities are all skint), who if someone can track your vote?written 14th Apr 2005
A Reader replies: Really Jimmy? The ballot is not secret. The state can find out who its enemies are...written 15th Apr 2005
Lou replies: Come on now Jimmy, what planet are you on? Of course they keep the records otherwise why go to the bother of meticulously recording it in the first place??? Someone once said the gov never pass laws they don't intend to use. I highly doubt they collect information they don't intend to use either. Given that the Information Commissioner said we are sleepwalking into a surveillance state I think suveillance of the ballot is very much something you should care about - when you wake up from your sleepwalk of course :-)written 15th Apr 2005
debra replies: The State as such does not hold the ballot papers ... the local Returning Officer (usually the Cheif Exec of the Council) holds these,. Theya re held securely for a limited amount of time after the poll in case of challenge.
The reason that the cross reference between ballot papers and voters is made is so that if there is attempts at fraud, these can be tracked. I expect the the recent heaviliy publiciced electoral fraud cases referred to the ballot papers.
I am very protective of civil liberties and therefore am sad enough to turn up to a polling station
a) first thing in the morning to witness that it starts empty.
b) call in during the day to check that all is in order
c) watch the ballot box being sealed at the end of the ballot.
I have then literally followed a ballot box to the count and seen it opened.
That's the proper rolle of the polling and counting agents that candidates are allocated. It's part of the electoral supervisory arrangements.
Debrawritten 15th Apr 2005