OneStat.com Web Analytics Trust People (once an Englishman in Philly): Am I an election fraudster?

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Am I an election fraudster?

Fortunately not, but I could have been - the dodginess of all-postal systems has become worryingly obvious. I received yesterday my second postal ballot for the European elections and this isn't even an all-postal area! I'd even crossed it along with my local election postal ballot before I caught myself and realised what I was doing!

The problem, as I've said many times before, is that postal voting as anything other than a necessity shouldn't happen. The argument that it's more democratic as more people vote presupposes that every vote in a postal vote is as 'democratically valuable' as every vote in a normal ballot. I don't think it will be. Turnout is down because people aren't engaging with politicians or weighing up their policies and proposals.

You don't remedy this by letting people just cross a box on their kitchen table somewhere between dinner and their dessert. Walking to a polling station hasn't proved a massive burden in the past - that isn't why people aren't voting. Deal with the problems and retain the value of voting. If it isn't that great a burden, yet it means people place some stock in the value of voting.

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