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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

My son's second postal voting form finally arrived today - the first having never turned up. It's too late for him to post it back, but he was told if it didn't arrive in time, he could take it to any polling station in person. However, he's tried and they will not accept it, so he has lost his chance to vote.

I know this election has been held very last minute, but I am not impressed! He's a very keen young voter and it's frustrating that he has been disenfranchised. I wonder how many other people have lost out?

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Maddy, as long as the postal vote is filled in and sealed in the envelope any polling station should accept it today. Which one was he trying to deliver it to?

He's tried two in Manchester, but they told him he can take it to any polling station in the constituency he's registered in - which is daft, because if he could get to the polls here, he wouldn't have needed a postal vote!

Karen, can Maddy get an emergency proxy vote?

For future reference, might it be an idea to set up a proxy vote (although I guess he might not be at college next time we have to go to the polls). We did this when my husband was abroad during *that* referendum. It was very easy (and very amusing to vote twice in front of astonished onlookers) 

I can only find on the Haringey website - best call them but the deadline is 5pm today

"In the exceptional circumstance that you are involved in an emergency situation on Election Day, you will be able to register for an emergency proxy vote by phoning 020 8489 1000 before 5pm on election day."

They are wrong. You can take your postal vote to your polling station.

Call the council and get some advice on this before 5pm https://voting.haringey.gov.uk/contact-us/

You can only take it to a polling station in the constituency where you are voting. From the sounds of things he is trying to take it to a polling station in a different constituency. They'd have no way of getting it here to be included in the count.

Lots of tales of overseas postal votes turning up very late. Someone I know who is in Australia had their form arrive yesterday.

Yes I hadn't realised from the OP he was out of borough. It makes more sense that they refused it.

That's why I think that if people can set up proxy votes it's less risky in the event of what appears to be a complete failure to get the forms out on time and not just in Haringey if posts on Twitter are to be believed.

Students can also register in two places to vote provided they only vote in one of them!

We did that last time and it involved my son getting a form signed at uni to confirm that he's a student, which adds another layer of bureaucracy to the process. I mistakenly thought that a postal vote would be simpler!

My husband's postal ballot arrived in Bangkok on Monday. Not surprising when the postage was just the normal first class franking - you'd think they'd be astute enough to stick an extra stamp on for overseas addresses!

Why on Earth don’t we have secure electronic voting?

Pros: quick results, saves money as no polling stations, higher turn-out, links to detailed information on candidates, environmentally friendly, prevents duplicate voting, avoids late postal vote forms.

Cons: none.

Hacking risk is often cited as the default objection. If e-banking works securely, why shouldn’t e-voting? I’m no cyber security expert but I’d rather doubt it really is such a big risk.

The other oft-cited objection is what about older non-online voters? They can postal  vote or attend a supervised community centre to vote online with assistance from Age UK or similar charity volunteers.

Ebanking and evoting are actually quite different.

With evoting you want both security (reassurance that your vote has been correctly recorded and included in the count) and secrecy (no one must know how you voted - you don't want the government to know, also you shouldn't be able to prove to others how you have voted, as that would permit vote-selling and/or coercion). There is a rather arcane branch of cryptography which has been trying for a few decades to produce protocols which meet these requirements but the solutions tend to be academic and not user-friendly.

With e-banking the privacy requirement is different - you actually want authorised employees at your bank to be able to tell you your bank balance and have an audit trail to find out which transactions were made by you and which were fraudulent. I'd add that a certain amount of fraud in banking is written off as the cost of doing business, which would probably not be acceptable in voting.

Thanks for your thoughtful and considered reply. I must admit I didn't think about the point of being able to prove how you voted and how that could allow vote-selling or result in coercion, although presumably the technology could be done in a way that prevents you from showing or proving how you voted.

As for your point that the technology needed to meet the necessary requirements is neither easy nor user-friendly, I'll have to take your word for that!

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