Tuesday, 8 September 2009

count the votes on Thursday!

my first reaction to disquiet among some of the commentariat about the trend among local authorities to count votes the next day was a yawn. What does it really matter, I thought to myself. But then I thought, a few years ago that attitude might have been reasonable. There is a lot about election day in Britain that is redolent of the 1950s, including the signs identifying the polling stations and the grubby pencil on a string in the polling booth (that was how it was the last time I voted in person in the UK, in the 2005 general election) and we should move on from that, I thought. In order to engage people better with the political process, I thought. But more recently, now that news is 24-hour, and waiting for the morning papers to find out the news is something people just don't do any more, why should we wait until the afternoon of the next day for a few thousand votes to be counted? I favour electronic counting of votes in any case, which conservative commentators generally do not, but that is probably another matter. Let's have it all on the night. Also I have been an election candidate several times, always victorious, naturally, (eh, Cllr Page?) and it is a stressful process, it would be kinder to all concerned to have the result as early as possible. And what fun election night TV coverage is for the stay-at-homes - so let's keep it on Thursdays, say I. Just a bit of fun...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Funny that elsewhere on the continent it is possible to count the votes the same night, particularly in more far flung and separated places than a small island off the coast of the European continent. Of course it's all about saving the cost of paying people overtime or late-night money to do the counting. Proper electronic voting with an auditable trail offers no threat to democracy, in fact it can enhance it.

wv fists