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THE FINEST MOMENT OF THE BRITISH ELECTORAL SYSTEM!

I do not want another European pundit to criticize our electoral system ever again.  Not after this result.  Apparently in Great Britain, if you are waiting to vote at the time the polls close you are out of luck.  There were BBC reports that police were called out due to rowdy potential voters who were thrown out of polling places.  There are hints of possible legal challenges.  Try this from the Daily Mail:

The Electoral Commission has launched an urgent inquiry as tens of thousands of people were unable to vote last night after polling stations were unable to cope with a late surge.

There were chaotic scenes in towns and cities including London, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and Bristol as polling stations failed dismally to cope with the high turnout.

There’s more.  I can’t make this up.

Police were called in to remove people who protested when they were not allowed to cast their ballot.

Apparently they do not have provisional ballots in England.

Leading human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC said that people denied the right to vote could take legal action.

‘These people have a right to sue,’ he said.

‘They will get at least £750 in my view. Under the European Convention you have a right to vote.

Can’t a human rights lawyer come up with a better remedy than 750 pounds sterling?    Everybody waiting in line can vote in the United States subject to rare exceptions.  Judges routinely extend the voting processes in key precincts as needed.  Where’s the human rights lawyers in the UK going to court to overthrow acts of Parliament? 

The Daily Mail did have this report from the election commission:

In a statement, the Electoral Commission said: ‘Each returning officer is responsible for deciding numbers of polling stations in their constituency and the numbers of electors allocated to each polling station.

‘By law, polls must close at 10pm and any voter issued with a ballot paper by 10pm should be allowed time to cast it, but no ballot paper should be issued after 10pm.

‘There should have been sufficient resources allocated to ensure that everyone who wished to vote was able to do so.

Try this report:

In a statement, the Electoral Commission said: ‘Each returning officer is responsible for deciding numbers of polling stations in their constituency and the numbers of electors allocated to each polling station.

‘By law, polls must close at 10pm and any voter issued with a ballot paper by 10pm should be allowed time to cast it, but no ballot paper should be issued after 10pm.

‘There should have been sufficient resources allocated to ensure that everyone who wished to vote was able to do so.

I would hope so.  The Daily Mail in its editoral compared the election fracas to Zimbabwe:

“These are scenes normally witnessed in corrupt states such as Zimbabwe.”

Of course they had to take a swing at the USA:

“Britain shook its head when the 2000 US Presidential election was settled in court.”

At least, we tried to count the votes in a legal means.  Nowhere in Florida was anyone legally turned away.  Again I repeat:  I don’t want to hear another European pundit say or write criticism about the US electoral system.  Not again.  Not after this.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

2 Responses to “THE FINEST MOMENT OF THE BRITISH ELECTORAL SYSTEM!”

  1. Tom White says:

    A couple of days after the 2000 elections, while things were very much up in the air, I was sent to Manchester UK to work on a project for my company. I was there several weeks working with UK engineers, hungry for the small bits of information that the British press bothered to cover. Sky News devoted about 2 minutes every hour.

    I took a great deal of good humored ribbing from my mates. On day, while at lunch enjoying a pint, as one is expected to do, one UK coworker asked if we might want the Brits to come in and run things while we “sort it out”. I reminded him that they had already done enough as I believe all of the blokes who wrote our constitution were born British subjects. That this problem was technically created by them.

    I received no further verbal puns.

    My only regret is that I am no longer in touch with my mates to return the favour.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by virginiaBNN, Tom Editor. Tom Editor said: #TCOT #GOP #IAMTHEMOB THE FINEST MOMENT of the BRITISH ELECTORAL SYSTEM! – http://tinyurl.com/3xnt7d5 […]


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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