Compensating excluded voters?

It has been suggested that those electors who queued at polling stations but were turned away at 10.00 p.m. on polling day may be entitled to compensation. 

I cannot help wondering how most of of those who were turned away will actually be able to prove that they were waiting to vote and were turned away.  It is possible to prove they didn’t vote, but that is true of about one-third of the people on the electoral register.  Those fortunate enough to be photographed or shown or interviewed on television may be alright, but as for the rest I cannot see what the basis of proof will be.  Have I missed something?

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About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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12 Responses to Compensating excluded voters?

  1. David Rostron says:

    I very much doubt that you will have missed something. If electors have a claim for compensation then they should get written conformation of being refused entry to the polling station from the polling station officials then there can be no dispute.

  2. FinnishCowl says:

    Perhaps it is just me, but I feel odd putting a price tag on the right to vote. I cannot even begin to understand how you would decided that.

  3. Carl.H says:

    Compensation culture ! Bah humbug !

    We were weeks ago talking of bribing the electorate to vote, it seems now we are to have the reverse. I can imagine thousands of eyes starting to glow at the thought of £750 for nothing, especially students who will of course verify that they were all there.

  4. ladytizzy says:

    There must be no financial reward to individuals who were unable to vote due to poor time management or ignorance.

    We are British, we invented queues.

  5. Chris K says:

    I have very little sympathy, except where the was gross understaffing/mismanagement, because there simply has got to be a cut-off point.

    It is unreasonable to expect to cram everyone who has been queueing into the polling station, lock the door, and give them all ballot papers. Not all polling stations could accommodate those numbers (and also think of the health and safety issues!).

    Therefore the current cut-off point, defined as not issuing ballot papers after 10pm, is the only definite, fair way of doing things.

  6. Lord Norton says:

    There’s also the point that £750 for not being able to vote may have the effect of considerably increasing the queues at 9.55 p.m. at the next general election!

  7. Jana says:

    As for the basis of proof, it would simply have to be by affidavit or similar surely?

    Like you say, long queues anticipated at 21:55 in 2015.

  8. Croft says:

    Hmm no queues here. I wandered down through the village, saw no one and when I arrived at my polling station there was a 3:1 ratio in favour of ‘officials’ or party workers to the single voter!

    You have from 7am to vote. It’s a bit like the last orders bell at the pub and the mad rush. People know the timings and a little forethought would stop most of the problems – those people who did queue for hours have a valid argument but those arriving close to 10 have themselves to blame.

    • ladytizzy says:

      …and there is postal voting for anyone overly conerned.

      • Croft says:

        I’m very anti postal voting as I think it is too open to outright fraud and undue influence/intimidation on the voter. If you have a genuine disability that prevents you being able to vote in person fine otherwise no.

        In your compensation post LN you didn’t mention those who voted. Can I get compensation if I voted LD to keep the Tories out? What if I voted Lab because I wanted AV or LD because I wanted STV let alone the Cons if I wanted FPTP? 🙂

  9. Jana says:

    Postal voting – why not?

    If people are allowed to plead guilty to minor offences by post, why not vote with a stamp as well.

    • Croft says:

      Jana: Because other people aren’t likely to try to accept your minor offences (if any!) and save you the punishment 😉

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