Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The instructions accompanying at least one batch of postal ballots say that voters should vote for only one candidate. This of course is wrong as you can vote for up to three.

If you have any questions or if you think you may have  been misled, contact the returning officer on 0208 8489 1000 or email elections@haringey.gov.uk


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Many years ago part of a course I was on was taught by Prof Jack Winkler. He wrote a paper called, I think, "Rising and Sinking decisions." The notion was that credit for success would usually be snaffled by someone at or near the top. Conversely mistakes and cock-ups would be blamed on someone as low down the pecking order as possible. Preferably someone who had already left. Or an outsider.

Very conveniently this Haringey cock-up was "a printing error". (Possibly committed by a galley slave? Or boiler plate text set by mock-up dummies?)

Could it even have been related to the mysterious "printing error" in Barnet in May 2016 which led to the departure of its then Chief Executive. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-36210786 

But in any case, no need to worry. It affected only "a small proportion" of voters. And it's not something really important like a French hotel booking or printing boarding passes for flights to Cannes.

The rather condescending cartoon animation put on YouTube by Haringey contains the same "printers error", showing a ballot paper with just one cross. Left over perhaps from the General Election?

No. I'm wrong. That Haringey video was published on YouTube in January 2018.

I found Haringey's explanatory statement on its website. As we've already heard, it blames the printers.

Because of course, nobody ever thinks to check when very important stuff comes back from the printers. Nobody would dream of reading something through, would they? Because if they had, wouldn’t this obvious mistake have jumped off the page for anyone used to proof-reading?

As my little joke above shows, this wasn’t the first time Haringey made the error.  It was also in the animated video on the Council’s own YouTube channel? The voice-over explains how electors are supposed to “mark” their cross on the ballot paper.

Yep, just the one X.

And they knew back in January that the only elections scheduled in Haringey during 2018 were the borough council elections on 3 May. When ALL Haringey electors are entitled to cast up to three votes.

As George W. Bush once said:
"There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says:
Fool me once ... [pause] shame on [longer pause] ... shame on you. [Another pause] ... Y'fooled me. Cain't get fooled again."

They say only 900 people received those instructions. I was one of them. What a cock up.

I'm working the election as a Presiding Officer (not in Haringey thank goodness!). So naturally I didn't even read the instructions and haven't voted yet, so it hasn't affected me. I hope nothing goes wrong with my election... 



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