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Posted by: John Brace | 9th April 2011

Postal Voting – Deadline 14th April – Only 5 days to go

Today Wirral Council sent my excellent agent, who then passed on the information to me the invite to the opening of the postal votes (starting on the 20th April) at Wallasey Town Hall.

It is not too late to register for a postal vote, if you want one. The form can be downloaded from Wirral Council’s website. For people who are planning to go on holiday, will be at work or have children to look after having a postal vote brings welcome flexibility to the process.

I am pleased that (unlike last year) Wirral Council is sticking to the legal requirement to invite candidates/agents to the opening of the postal votes. The postal ballots are one of the weak points of our system and as a judge described Labour’s previous election fraud “would disgrace a banana republic”. Having said that there are many other weak points in our democracy, considering the large amount of people registered to vote who are not allowed to (eg dead or other reasons).

Lib Dem voters are more likely to vote by post. Last year many in Bidston & St. James did not receive their postal votes. When they complained they didn’t receive replacement postal ballots and were turned away from polling stations.

This even included myself! If this year anyone tries to stop your exercising your democratic or legal right to vote, please get in touch with us and we will submit a formal complaint.

One change made from last year, which affects polling stations outside Bidston & St. James (I live in the largest polling station area) is that polling stations serving more than 2,500 voters have been split. I see this as an excellent change that will prevent the disgraceful long waits for hours that people had to endure when voting in the local and General Election last year.

If anybody has any questions or suggestions for improvement in the democratic system, please leave a comment. There have been reports of people previously going to a polling station and being turned away as someone has impersonating them has already voted.

We must have a democracy where everybody’s vote counts not just in theory but in practice. After the election I had a conversation with the Returning Officer Steve Maddox (who has since retired) as to why it appeared my own vote hadn’t been counted as it didn’t appear in the list of people who had voted. I was not entirely convinced by his explanation and hope this year Wirral Council will at least be able to be able to provide a result which isn’t questionable. I live in hope that one day we’ll actually get an accurate result in Bidston & St. James and that everyone’s vote is not only counted, but recorded as being counted.

This year the Returning Officer is Bill Norman.


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