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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Just back from our local Tottenham polling station.   Council staff with their cheery welcomes in the otherwise almost empty hall.  Me and two other voters seemed to be the noon rush.
I was initially confused by the long varicoloured voting slips to be posted in three boxes.
Remember "Instructions for the Zero Gravity Toilet" in the film 2001?

But any foolish temptation  by me to give a vote to Count Binface vanished when I heard from a family member that the dreadful Susan Hall was only ten points behind in the latest polling.

Whichever Party  agreed to removing Proportional voting from the Mayoral ballot are shameful vote-rigging cheats.

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Do you think the insistence on photo ID will mean that people will be put off ? 

Liz, According to the Electoral Commission that was what did happen a year ago. Report here by the BBC:

To be frank, I think the system we used to have was better. But for other reasons too. When people turned-up they only had to speak to one of the polling staff who looked them up on the Electoral Register and supplied them their a voting paper. This tended  to create a temporary  friendly chattiness. In other words the election was about a tiny ballet; a brief ceremony of mutual visible trust and civic engagement with our neighbours. We entered, spoke politely then briefly moved round, and then departed the building; maybe with brief smiles and nods; as equal local citizens.

By contrast, when I volunteered as a Party teller - standing outside of course - we'd stand with other Parties' tellers and help one another if we'd missed some numbers. The convention of mutual civility applied here as well in this common space.  The point was encouraging as many people as possible to turn out and vote in a polite friendly atmosphere. Not to catch some vast mostly imaginary vote fraudsters.

At the last General Election before Bernie Grant MP died, our (then) small daughter's primary school was closed for the  day. I took her with me to see what happened. And I lifted her to cast my vote in the ballot box.

From my understanding there were pockets of the country with voter fraud but overall it was a tiny amount. I'm pretty sure people being turned away for incorrect/invalid ID will be a much greater number than fraudulent voters in previous elections. 

We vote at Chestnuts primary school and I've always taken the children along (when they were enjoying a day off school) and more recently Millie (our dog) comes with us.

I was refused entry to the Hermitage Rd Polling Station because I had my dog with me. 

Actually yes our dog was refused entry yesterday too. Luckily 2 of us went so we took it in turn to vote. I was surprised, we've always been welcome before and there was a water bowl for them.

Maybe the ID checking added too much pressure.

I agree with you up to a certain point but ime, Party tellers (a new term to me) do not make their role clear and can be quite intimidating to some voters. Ditto the party tellers (activists?) who knock on your door 2-3 times in one evening to ask if you have/why haven't you voted yet

Also, there is zero attempt to engage with young adult voters in this ward

Thanks very much for this Angela.  Your description has got me thinking about loads of often very small  but not trivial encounters we have. with others. The civic role - stuff like voting seems an important special case. Fresh musing tomorrow.

To be continued ...

Tellers are there to try to avoid bothering people in the evening - if you said you would vote for a particular candidate then letting the teller know that you have voted (for whatever candidate doesn't matter) means that you will not get a late evening call. Ignore the tellers because you think it is an invasion of privacy/secrecy/etc means that you may well get a late evening caller to encourage you to vote...

Tellers cooperate with each other to share who has voted so that they won't call at that address either.

"Allow us to invade your privacy now, so that we don't have to do it later".

It's your choice... actually it's only significant where there is a close contest, more often than not you won't see any tellers anyway...

I disagree. My experience bears that out

Tellers need to explain their role

How do you suggest they do that?  If you feel that they are intimidating then they are exceeding their permitted presence, report them to the electoral staff inside the poling station.  Each candidate also has an agent who is entitled to attend at a polling station to see if there are irregularities.  I acted as an agent in two council elections for a friend who was standing as an independent.  The whole set up is designed to help everyone in the process of voting from candidates to election officials to the electorate.



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