Voting – Snail mail beats email

Research into various methods to increase voter turnout has concluded that only postal voting leads to an increase in turnout. E-voting had no noticeable impact and it seems to have been used by people who would have voted by other means. However both e-voting and postal voting are open to issues with fraud.

  • Snail mail – except if limited to very restricted cases, has enormous problems with ballot security and ballot secrecy. Northern Ireland has plenty of polling stations, and if people can’t be arsed using them, that’s their problem.

  • Cruimh

    Sammy – how about the disabled and house bound ?

  • Cruimh, read what I said: “except if limited to very restricted cases”; I didn’t say no postal voting ever. I have no problem with genuinely housebound people having postal votes, though it’s worth bearing in mind that even this is open to abuse (nursing home owners signing up all the residents to proxy votes, for starters).

    But easy access postal voting has been an unmitigated disaster in England and having been through it as an election organiser I don’t see any evidence that it produced a long term increase in turnout. We have the balance right in NI.

  • joeCanuck

    Sammy,
    Does anyone have a handle on the extent of fraud and how the numbers compare, for example, with random errors in counting.
    I think I read during the Florida debacle that counting errors could be a few percent.

  • Cruimh

    Sammy I DID read your comment – “limited to very restricted cases” was rather vague – as circa 9% of voters in NI are registered as disabled in he sense of receiving DLA it rather implied you wouldn’t approve of them being given postal votes.

  • Je T’aime

    Why should only e’s vote?
    c, d, and f are much better programming languages!

  • Does anyone have a handle on the extent of fraud and how the numbers compare, for example, with random errors in counting.

    I’m not aware of any proper work that’s been done on the subject – worldwide, most electoral authorities live in denial about fraud. Somebody probably ought to carry out research in this area, and if any academic foundation wants to employ me so to do, Mick has my contact details. 😉

    Cruimh, you’d pick a fight with your own shadow, grow up.

  • Cruimh

    Sammy – typically arrogant APNI.

    Like it or not there are a lot of disabled peole out there – and your breath taking attempt to refuse the franchise to residents in nursing homes is disgraceful.

  • Like it or not there are a lot of disabled peole out there – and your breath taking attempt to refuse the franchise to residents in nursing homes is disgraceful.

    I never suggested for a second taking postal votes away from people in nursing homes and there’s nothing above that could be interpreted as that unless you were willingly looking to pick a fight and trying to make me look like a heartless fascist. You really ought to apologise to me for misrepresenting what I said, and if you were a gentleman, you would.

    Postal votes in nursing homes need carefully watched because any political hack will tell you there’s a long history of the system being abused by nursing home owners. I mean, are you suggesting it isn’t disenfranchising someone who is old and slightly senile and vulnerable by stealing their vote and using it on behalf of a candidate or party they may well have hated for their entire life?

    Note that I said “We have the balance right in NI.” – i.e. postal votes for the genuinely infirm or housebound, people working or studying away from home or away on holiday at the time of the election, and with the exception of the long-term sick and housebound, with appropriate medical certificates, to be applied for at every election as required. No signing up your entire extended family for a postal vote to your address, combing the Irish News every day for dead pople, or the electoral register for people who never, ever, vote.

  • lib2016

    ‘…combing the Irish News every day for dead people, or the electoral register for people who never, ever, vote.’

    Geez, thass shockin’, so it is! Any other good ideas?

    (BTW I do like your choice of paper – and yes, I do realise that you are less one-sided than most of us. That’s precisely why your post surprised me.)

  • Geez, thass shockin’, so it is! Any other good ideas?

    Loads, but that would be telling. 😉