2017 General Election Day 16: Pause and reflect

Maybe future general elections need to be arranged to have days off in the middle of them? Right now, all the politicos in the country are focused on the local elections, as are the journalists, though mostly because none of them want to run into trouble with reporting restrictions by covering the general election today.

Of course, this isn’t actually a day off for the people campaigning in the election, as much as the media like to spin the ‘campaigning is over, now let’s vote line’. Election days are long and busy — the way we do things might have changed somewhat since my first full experience of one in 1997 (see Monday’s post for more of that) but the amount of effort being put in hasn’t dropped. Work commitments mean I’m not doing much today, but I was still at the polling station at 7am to do a couple of hours telling, then I’ll be at the count tonight.

And to borrow from myself again, if you’re not aware why people are sitting outside polling station asking for your poll number:

One thing that people often ask me is why we sit at polling stations collection voter’s elector numbers. It’s not for any nefarious purposes — simply, every party will have a list of the people they expect to vote for them (in the old days it was on multiple sheets of paper spread out in a large room, now it’s all kept on computer and printed off as needed). Every so often, the numbers collected at each polling station are taken to the local base (known as the committee room) and entered into the system. So, when we look at the data later in the day, we can see which of our supporters haven’t voted yet and go out to remind them to do it, with increasing urgency as 10pm gets closer. By giving the person at the polling station your number, you’re making sure that you won’t be disturbed on polling day — we make no assumption that because you’ve given us your number you’re going to vote for us.

Again, some things have changed, as we can now enter the numbers online now, and the pieces of paper don’t even have to go to the committee room any more. Such is progress.

Anyway, I have to get back and do some more abstract-writing for an application, so we’ll skip Election Leaflet Of The Day for today and instead I’ll leave you with this from another election happening in a few days time.

Now, how do we get him to do one of those for Tim Farron?

Originally published at www.nickbarlow.com on May 4, 2017.

Many, many things. PhD student at QMUL. Councillor. Ran the 2019 London Marathon for Brain Research UK. @nickjbarlow on Twitter.

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