I AM not a politician, but I am a voter. As a voter, I am disturbed by the peculiarities of what must be considered as the Conservative town council elections. For several of the recent elections held in the town, a large Vote Conservative banner has
I AM not a politician, but I am a voter. As a voter, I am disturbed by the peculiarities of what must be considered as the "Conservative" town council elections.
For several of the recent elections held in the town, a large "Vote Conservative" banner has appeared at the Methodist Church polling station. This in flagrant breach of rules preventing promotion of specific party politics at the point of poll.
For that reason it was required to be removed. As I understand it even party rosettes have to be blanked out at polling stations.
With this background, the running of the town council by-election on April 2 seems disturbingly odd. For example, it was rather surprising that, in place of an official neutral polling card, a Conservative "polling" card was issued in its place with photo identities promoting their two candidates and clear instructions to the voter to carry this with them to the polling station and hand it over as part of the voting process.
I have spoken to several people who have been confused by the lack of conventional polling cards, assuming that they have been excluded from this election. Such confusion may well be made worse by this pseudo-official card instructing voters to vote for the Conservative candidate.
The card I received was accompanied by the most unworthy, scurrilous and defamatory leaflet against the opposition, seemingly sponsored by the Sun newspaper.
Can the outcome of the election really be regarded as a truly fair and democratic result?
Editor's note: Huntingdonshire District Council's elections manager Trevor Amiss said the council was aware that the house next to the Methodist Church was occupied by a political supporter, but the polling station was down the road at the Saxongate Centre. The Tories' "poll card" had been scrutinised and found to comply with electoral law on promotional literature, he added.