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Taking ballot paper out of the polling station?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by blazer, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Mrs B went to vote today. While she was in the booth the lady next in line asked the clerk if she could take her ballot paper home as she hadn't yet made up her mind who to vote for and wanted time to think and she would then come back. The clerk allowed her to take it away!

    Now I'm not sure about this. Obviously if she doesn't return then no vote gets cast but she has been ticked off on the register and her voter number written of the ballot paper stub. So if anyone counts the total ballot papers in the boxes it won't match the number of stubs..

    If she does return then would she need to identify herself again. Would the clerk necessarily remember if it was the same person?

    If she decides not to vote and chucks the ballot paper away. What if it is found? How can that be explained?

    Or what if it is copied and then used fraudulently in other polling stations in the same constituency? Someone counting would not necessarily spot it was a fake.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    report it
    FormosaRed likes this.
  3. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    The numbers do not need to match.

    Voters can, if they wish, collect their ballot paper and then destroy it.
    blazer likes this.
  4. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Is a bit strange.... I am cross with myself because as I put my paper in the box and went out... I realised the ballot box was different! It was soft topped... and had a zip and I do not remember any security/locking device. Have told daughter-in-law to ask at Labour HQ re this and to look when she goes to vote. Plus they had no record of the proxy vote the younger child was supposed to have.... I am not pleased and have contacted said child. Child insists it was done and posted. Well remembering the polling station in the last election denying MrREMfan a vote when we have paid shedloads to get him his citizenship.... that lit my blue touch paper and led to calls to the Election officer til it was sorted.

    Am a bit concerned.
  5. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    I am not happy re this whole number thing... your vote could be checked up on as the paper number you are given is noted by the other officers and written by your name.
    What happened to 'secret vote'?
    FormosaRed likes this.
  6. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    All ballot papers are numbered on the back as a measure to prevent and detect fraud. However, all the ballot paper lists are sealed up after the count and cannot be opened without a court order so that the secrecy of the ballot is retained.
    FormosaRed likes this.
  7. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    People registered for a postal vote can complete the form at home and drop it into the polling station by 10pm on the day of an election, but I doubt that anyone else can.
  8. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    This seems rather odd. I had a look at the Electoral Commission Handbook for Polling Station Staff. There is no specific mention of taking the ballot paper home but it does say:

    • Make sure voters go to polling booths individually so that their right to a secret vote is protected. No other person is allowed to accompany a voter to a polling booth unless a voter who is disabled or unable to read has requested assistance to vote (see Appendix 1 for further information on voting with the assistance of a companion).
    • The voter marks the ballot paper in the privacy of the polling booth.
    Taking the ballot paper home would certainly seem to contradict this. It would probably have been better to tell her to come back when she had decided but not let her take the ballot paper home.

    Of course when people have a postal vote there is no way of knowing how their vote might have been influenced or even if someone else voted for them.
    FormosaRed and strawbs like this.

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