WE have all received a communication from the Electoral Commission, concerning a referendum on the voting system used to elect MPs to the House of Commons
Under the present “First Past the Post” system, voters put an X against the candidate of their choice and the candidate with most votes is elected.
I have witnessed counting at both local elections and Parliamentary elections and have seen miss-counts and spoiled papers. There is often the need for re-counts.
Counting under the “Alternative Vote” system will be much more complicated.
Voters will have to rank candidates in order of choice and the candidate with the greatest number of Number 1 ranks will win, provided that candidate gains more than half the total votes cast. (The Electoral Commission does not tell us if this means the total number of rankings cast in the election or the number of ballot papers put in the box. I assume it is the latter).
Imagine the confusion, not to mention the time involved which can occur when tellers have to re–examine the papers of the lowest scoring candidate in order to assign any second rankings that are attributable to the candidate with the most first rankings. Again, we are not told what would happen if there were no second rankings to attribute.
I shall be voting against “AV” because I contend that it can not work until we have an electronic voting system, as they have in France.
Another benefit coming out of electronic voting is that there could be a requirement for compulsory voting, putting an end to low turnouts.
Have you noticed the last paragraph on page 8 of the pamphlet? It appears to say that we will get the “AV” irrespective of the voters’ wishes if the UK Parliament implements new electoral boundaries.
On May 5 you are not required to show your polling card to people outside the polling station. You should only show your polling card to the electoral officer inside who will exchange it for your ballot paper.
(Former secretary UKIP Fenland)