Voting in Style

Voting in Style


Here is proof that I voted in the EU Referendum. That’s right, there is no finger-stamping here. Also no police detail, no elaborate fraud-prevention measures. And it’s not because people don’t care about Brexit – all elections are conducted in this nonchalant manner: the UK general election, elections to the European parliament (Ok, that IS something few people actually care about).

Elections in India are impressive for their scale and the feat of management and co-ordination involved in making them fraud- and violence-free. But British elections are impressive because they are an exact contrast.

You go into your local polling centre, usually (wo)manned by two nice ladies who take your name and address, look you up in the register, and give you the ballot paper: regular office-supply stationery with the voting options printed. You walk over to a table and mark your choice with a pencil, fold the paper and put it into a box that could have been bought from any office supply stationery store.

The only security features I can see are (a) you (or someone claiming to be you, for there is no Id check) can’t vote more than once, (b) there are always two people staffing the polling station, so they keep an eye on each other. There may be CCTV cameras as well, I can’t tell.

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