Monday, December 03, 2007

Electoral Committee - very cross!

My first ever Electoral Committee meeting on Thursday where I got the issue of those bloody boxes on the agenda. Readers of the blog in years gone by may remember this story.

Well I did my best, I told the primarily LibDem led committee about the ballot papers we found in the boxes this year. I reminded them about close elections - Croxteth ward was won by only 10 votes, Winchester by one vote in 1997.

They were unmoved.

I told them they were a failure in terms of knocking out supporters because the opposition steal the boxes or the cards from inside them.

We dont actually keep our cards, they all go in the bin (such few as are not stolen by the LibDems), we only have boxes in K&F because the LibDems have them and so we must.

I told them that they are a distraction from the real business of elections.

They were unmoved

I told them that nobody else in the country has boxes, but they refused to believe me, or the Returning Officer, or the Elections Officer.

They offered suggestions of places in the country where they believe the boxes are duplicated - I am positive they are wrong and that no-one outside of Merseyside does this. I know for sure that the national Labour Party is not happy with boxes.

And then my late-arriving Labour Councillor colleague failed to support me. He thought they helped remind people there was an election on. I am not sure how this is supposed to happen as you have to be at the door of the polling station before you see the box.

So we are stuck with them for another year at least and my blood pressure will have to suffer through another eve of poll


I am very cross!

1 comment:

Paula said...

I too loathe the boxes.

Firstly, it is hard to get proper rules about what is and isn't allowed!

Secondly,you have a Blue Peter moment making them just when you are really tired!

Thirdly, people do put ballot papers in them - we always check and if we find them we take them in but it is an easy mistake to make

Fourthly, they routinely get stolen now. In the GE in 05 and in the SG by election I had to replace several that had been lifted ( I know full well who took them - petty and stupid)

Finally, I don;t think the data is that good any more. Sometimes they are used as nothing more than litter bins. When I tell you I had Maria Eagles card in my box once you will realise that - either she is a closet Lib Dem or the box was just the nearest place to put it. (I have also seen staff pick up a bundle of cards and sling them in the nearest box)

But people do what they are used to. And habit is a hard thing to change.