Spoilt Ballots


ballot box

I am in favour of spoilt ballots.

Not as an alternative to voting (Or, indeed, voting Labour -Ed), but as an alternative to not voting. But for those people who tell me that they don’t plan to vote, that they can’t — or won’t — support any of the parties or candidates on the ballot paper, then my advice is always to spoil their ballot.

The simple reason is that spoilt ballots are counted. The number is recorded in the results. The number of those who abstained, who didn’t turn out, is not. It fades away into the background.

Active protest always trumps passive protest.

There were 14 spoilt ballots in the Blenheim Park election, which is a fairly standard number. In Southend West there were some 145. Most are unremarkable things, but one sticks in my mind. On one of the Southend West ballot papers some joker had drawn a representation of male genitalia. They had done so next to the name of the Labour candidate, Julian Ware-Lane.

And because it was drawn within the box next to his name, it was decided as decipherable a vote for Mr Ware-Lane. So irony of ironies, the cock-in-the-box was counted as one of Labour’s 8,154 votes.

You do, it turns out, have to spoil your ballot correctly.

Advertisements

3 comments

  1. I saw one ballot with a beautifully coloured in drawing of a parrot, I was wondering how much time that had taken and why anyone would take colouring pencils to vote and then i twigged it must have been a postal vote.

  2. How do you find out how many ballot papers were spoilt and how many people did not use both their votes in the local elections please?

  3. enjoyed that Matt – wonder what Julian thinks!? One of the revelations on attending counts is actually seeing what spoiled votes looks like đŸ™‚ But agree – spoiling is a better option than not voting at all!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s