The May elections are fast approaching, when people around the country will take to the polls to vote for their preferred councillors and mayors. The London mayoral election has dominated the headlines so far, giving Ken and Boris a chance to show off their mature sides with plenty of mud-slinging in their haste to win votes.
As a Londoner, I’ll be getting my opportunity to vote for the next mayor, but this time around I’ll be out of the country on election day. Realising this, I was filled with dread at how complicated it would prove to ensure my vote was counted.
As we’re in the digital age, with the government so keen to tell us how connected and web-savvy the entire nation is, I naively hoped that casting my vote would be a simple process involving registering my details online, and then voting over the web. But no.
First of all, I had to sit in a phone queue in order to find out which website I should visit to register a postal vote. Next step was to fill in the postal voting request form. Although this can be filled out electronically, it can’t be submitted via the site. Instead it has to be printed out and sent through the post, and this has to be done 11 working days before the election, so I sent my form off with no time to spare.
Next up, I’m due to receive my ballot paper in the post – the catch here being that this could get sent out anytime, even up to four days before the election date. By this time I might already be out of the country.
If by luck the ballot paper reaches me in time, I need to send it back via the Freepost envelope included – adding to my suspicions that this whole setup is a scam to earn more money for the Royal Mail in wasted stamps, with all the forms and papers being sent back and forth.
Or if it’s too late to send back my vote by post, I’m advised I can hand in the ballot slip at a polling station on election day – surely defeating the purpose of setting up this complicated post voting system, if I’m around to vote in person.
Allen died from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Stanford researchers made the discovery via data from Greenland
Created via a thin, flexible, and transparent hierarchical nanocomposite film
Rolls Royce will use AI powered by Intel's Xeon Gold processors and SSDs for memory