03 June, 2009
Vote for the Aardvark Alliance
It appears that some postal voters participating in the European Parliament election in the North West of England are being unhelpfully helpful. As a result of the complex voting system and the number of candidates, the voting forms are a bit on the long side. Some postal voters have eliminated this unwieldy clutter by marking their 'X' and then cutting out and returning only that section of the form which names their selected party or candidate. Seems pretty sensible to me, Zachary, I mean it's such a waste of paper, innit? I mean, think of the poor postman.
Now I would have thought that so radical a mutilation would be sufficient to invalidate any such ballot. But apparently not. Just as the survival of both copies of the serial number on a badly torn or mutilated bank note is sufficient for a bank to accept and replace it, the mutilated voting form can be accepted if certain crucial validating evidence is present. This consists of something called the official mark, which appears at the top of the form, and some kind of serial number (you know, the one the secret services use to work out who you voted for — not that they'd do anything like that, of course), which appears on the reverse of the form, behind the first choice in the list of candidates.
So, if someone helpfully cuts up their form as described, the most likely scenario in which both of these validating elements are likely to survive intact is where the voter has selected the party at the top of the list, which, given that the parties are listed in alphabetical order, will of course be the one which all those decent people have been so insistently telling us plebs not to vote for. You know, the one that begins with a 'B'.
I really shouldn't laugh.
Perhaps Blackburn Labour Party should have asked that nice Mr Khan to run off some more votes in his postal voting workshop.