Author Topic: So I went to the polls today.......  (Read 5675 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Muggins

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8535
So I went to the polls today.......
« on: May 06, 2010, 04:54:58 PM »
I went off to the polling station,  to vote of course, but also to take numbers.  I chose not to wear a party rosette. The people number taking for the other parties are usually other active community volunteers so there is a bit of 'all mates together' feel about the sharing of numbers etc.  It doesn't worry me if the other party volunteers wear rosettes. 

This year the rules had changed so that we could take numbers before voters went in. There was no 'vote for our party' conversations, although there were a few digs about the other parties - totally unnecessary at this stage, like anyone is going to change their mind then. Although one person said they hadn't made up their mind as she went through the doors - I think they were joking!.

Voting up until 3pm was brisk at the two polling stations where I did my bit.  There were several voting virgins - that provoked some fun, these were people who could have voted before. Several voters turned up at the wrong polling station (it is confusing here) one or two lost their rag and said they weren't going to vote because of it and although they were rather mature, it was obvious they had not voted before.   There were one or two confusions over the postal vote, which we strongly advised them to take up with the appropriate authority.

There was some unnecessary (and rather embarrassing) unpleasantness between older party members over rules - nit picking about rosettes.

I'm instantly recognised, so it was an opportuntiy to meet old friends.  Old being the operative word as most had stories about their latest tangle with the NHS - most impressed with treatment thankfully.  Awful lot of people in disabled vehicles.   Some ethnic groups, one particularly embarrasing incident when one voter asked another voter help and didn't get it because of his colour (and why must people tell  you that's why they didn't help?) - he got help from us and the officers and hopefully he didn't realise the reason he didn't get help first time.

Most people were friendly and came out looking happy enough, sort of chuffed they'd done it.  Couple of grumps, but there is no accounting for folk.

On the whole, I've well and truly had my community batteries charged for another year.

Now feet up and wait for results.

Oh God! I hope I've voted the right way!! Have I done the right thing??





Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Geoff Reid

  • Twitter: @Geoff_Reid
  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 10105
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2010, 05:12:50 PM »

This year the rules had changed so that we could take numbers before voters went in.


Ah!, thank you :) you've answered a question I've posed in the 'Talkswindon Goes Mobile: Election Day Tour of The Borough' thread

I think I preferred the old rule.


Offline Muggins

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8535
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2010, 07:18:55 PM »
Yes, I think I do too, but the rule is that now you can ask before AND after.

The new rule did save us saying - "on the way out please" every time, because before, people did seem to want to hand in cards on the way in.
However when they give them afterwards, they can just carry on if they want to, but they sort of had to queue to do it on the way in - then they had to queue again once inside when it was busy.  Only four people refused to give their numbers.

Not only that it's a lot easier if they wanted to stay and talk - as many of them did.

I've just said to Chav that I could have been there just to help people with directions - like "where do I go now?" "where is the polling station I should be at?" And when they came out disappointed that for some reason they couldn't vote - just talking to them and making sure they would follow it up and listening to them.

At least that way they would feel they had had a more pleasant experience and that someone was bothered and they would come next time. 

Younger people in the foyer were opening doors for those less able, arranging lifts for people who couldn't make it under their own steam.
The staff at both venues, kept us supplied with tea and we shared a packet of Labour bought biscuits, after carefully ensuring that those partaking  had already voted so that we couldn't be accused of bribery!   :azn:
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Geoff Reid

  • Twitter: @Geoff_Reid
  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 10105
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2010, 08:30:59 PM »

I've witnessed tellers at several polling stations, (all wearing blue rosettes), contravening advice issued by SBC's Elections Team in the agents packs.

Tellers are advised that they MUST NOT: "Impede, obstruct or intimidate voters on their way in or out of the Polling station", yet I have seen tellers at two polling stations deliberately step into the path of voters to bring them to a standstill.  At a third station I overhead an exiting couple discussing how they felt intimidated by the teller, although I didn't see this myself.

The advice DOES say that: " Tellers may approach voters for information as they enter or leave the polling station".

have a look at this one,  filmed today, 06 May 2010  — Conservative Party volunteers apparently passing themselves off as polling station staff.


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/bF2s2MHH0HE&amp;hl" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/bF2s2MHH0HE&amp;hl</a>

Offline Simon

  • Jnr. Jedi
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2274
    • Swindon Climate Action Network
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2010, 08:54:44 PM »
Can anyone explain to me exactly what the role of these "Tellers" is, and who they work for please?

I've got the impression from previous elections that they work for political parties and they keep track of who, of those eligible to vote, has actually done so, and that at some point they chase up those who haven't voted, offering them a lift to the polling station and suchlike. Presumably if they work for political parties then the only voters they'll chase up are the ones who they think would vote for their party but haven't turned up yet?

Or maybe I've got completely the wrong end of the stick. Any clarification welcome  :-\
We are all in this together, but some of us are more in it than others (with apologies to George Orwell)

Offline Chav

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Female
  • INNIT!
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2010, 09:13:23 PM »
I was on the guest list to get into the count tonight, but unfortunately
I have a dodgy tummy  :embarassed:
.... and have got to be up early for work tomorrow  :-\

I have asked to be updated via text though !
"Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects." -- Lester B. Pearson.

Offline Simon

  • Jnr. Jedi
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2274
    • Swindon Climate Action Network
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2010, 09:18:07 PM »
I was on the guest list to get into the count tonight, but unfortunately
I have a dodgy tummy  :embarassed:
.... and have got to be up early for work tomorrow  :-\

I have asked to be updated via text though !

Aww Chav... Look after yourself first, get yourself well again so that you can continue with your good work. And if you're still feeling unwell tomorrow then take the day off work.
We are all in this together, but some of us are more in it than others (with apologies to George Orwell)

Offline Chav

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Female
  • INNIT!
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2010, 09:26:53 PM »
I was on the guest list to get into the count tonight, but unfortunately
I have a dodgy tummy  :embarassed:
.... and have got to be up early for work tomorrow  :-\

I have asked to be updated via text though !

Aww Chav... Look after yourself first, get yourself well again so that you can continue with your good work. And if you're still feeling unwell tomorrow then take the day off work.

Aww thanks Simon  ;)

Just had a text message from someone in the Know, apparently the Labour voter turn out in Penhill is looking good !
I think it will be close , its a two horse race between AH and LB , but apparently /allegedly /so say from person in the know - it is looking good for LB at the moment.

There are four polling stations in Penhill I believe, so one will not know for certain until after the big count  :D
"Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects." -- Lester B. Pearson.

Offline Muggins

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8535
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2010, 08:25:43 AM »
Simon, you have it about right about the tellers.   Apparently when the candidates go out canvassing, they obviously make a note of who says they will vote for them.  The tellers just take the numbers or the address -if people are willing to give them.  That way the political parties know who have been out to vote, so they don't get 'knocked up' (yes, that caused some fun yesterday, too) later.   Yesterday, the only two parties  interested in picking up those number were the Lib dems and Labour.   

I'm surprised at what looks a lowish turn out in this ward (2276) I'll be interested to see what % that is of those who should be eligible - the population is about 6/7000.

By the way, there was no getting up and standing in the way of voters on Penhill, to ask for theri numbers, the other tellers and myself didn't get out of their seats during our 6 hour stints and one as wheelchair bound. And we wouldn't have allowed it anyway if we had seen it, enough people had a job getting there, and in the heavy doors, without us blocking their way.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Simon

  • Jnr. Jedi
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2274
    • Swindon Climate Action Network
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2010, 07:57:28 PM »
Simon, you have it about right about the tellers.   Apparently when the candidates go out canvassing, they obviously make a note of who says they will vote for them.  The tellers just take the numbers or the address -if people are willing to give them.  That way the political parties know who have been out to vote, so they don't get 'knocked up' (yes, that caused some fun yesterday, too) later.   Yesterday, the only two parties  interested in picking up those number were the Lib dems and Labour.   

Thanks for that information  :)
We are all in this together, but some of us are more in it than others (with apologies to George Orwell)

Offline Liz Walker

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 91
  • Gender: Female
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2010, 09:47:11 AM »
I was acting as a teller at the same polling station as Muggins.  I met the rather obnoxious gentleman (and I use the term gentleman loosley) who was wearing an 'illegal' rossette.
He went on to tell voters who to vote for, criticise some for voting Tory (on their way in and out) and in the end I did go and stand outside to take numbers as I did not want to be associated in any way with him.

His antics actually backfired as, having spoken to a couple of people I know by sight, they had been planning to vote for his party but on being told NOT to vote Tory, they promptly did!

When I arrived he was talking to the tellers (that I took over from) in an incredibly supersilious manner and was most put out when he tried it with me and I gave him a very strong reasoned argument to every point he made.  (I love debates and would love to set a debating group up here on the hill)  I was even more annoyed when he seemed surprised that we have teachers, nurses and other professional people leaving in Penhill by choice! 

As someone who has been a life long labour voter this 'gentleman' appalled me and left me thinking if the local labour group has numpties like that in it, I am glad I am not a member .

I was considering rejoining up here after the elections but I won't be now.

Mind you its also given me a lesson learned.  I voted by post for differing parties locally and nationally.

As I no longer work away from home in future I will vote at the station on the day, because, after meeting him, I would have changed my national vote as well.

Its a pity there isnt an 'ofcom' for inappropriate tellers one could complain too! :tickedoff:

Redoubt-supporting victims of anti-social behaviour in Swindon. swindonredoubt@live.co.uk

Offline Muggins

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8535
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2010, 06:45:53 PM »
I agree with Liz and also feel a bit sorry for the lady in the film at the Polling station. Some people just like to be part of it and volunteer, not to be particularly partisan. When you've done it a few times you know what you are doing and how to do it without causing arguments and unpleasantness.  And like every volunteering activity to give some leeway for the behaviour of others.  I spent only a few minutes with the teller that Liz describes (if it was indeed the same one) and had I spent longer no doubt I would have had a quiet word. Most parties have these old campaigners with them and indeed I spent the first two hours with such a one, luckily I am used to her and greatly admire her dedication to her party - but it's still hard work being sat with her for that length of time, especially as on election day she can be a right rotweiller.   

However I would hope that the candidates themselves could be diplomatic.

 
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Bogomil

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 571
  • Hello !
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2010, 07:16:07 PM »
I was acting as a teller at the same polling station as Muggins.  I met the rather obnoxious gentleman (and I use the term gentleman loosley) who was wearing an 'illegal' rossette.
He went on to tell voters who to vote for, criticise some for voting Tory (on their way in and out) and in the end I did go and stand outside to take numbers as I did not want to be associated in any way with him.

His antics actually backfired as, having spoken to a couple of people I know by sight, they had been planning to vote for his party but on being told NOT to vote Tory, they promptly did!

When I arrived he was talking to the tellers (that I took over from) in an incredibly supersilious manner and was most put out when he tried it with me and I gave him a very strong reasoned argument to every point he made.  (I love debates and would love to set a debating group up here on the hill)  I was even more annoyed when he seemed surprised that we have teachers, nurses and other professional people leaving in Penhill by choice! 

As someone who has been a life long labour voter this 'gentleman' appalled me and left me thinking if the local labour group has numpties like that in it, I am glad I am not a member .

I was considering rejoining up here after the elections but I won't be now.

Mind you its also given me a lesson learned.  I voted by post for differing parties locally and nationally.

As I no longer work away from home in future I will vote at the station on the day, because, after meeting him, I would have changed my national vote as well.

Its a pity there isnt an 'ofcom' for inappropriate tellers one could complain too! :tickedoff:

I’m shocked by these posts.

I thought it was illegal to try to influence people as they go into the polling station to vote?

I get the idea from what has been said that it was not just one or two remarks.
Why didn’t someone complain?

Offline Muggins

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8535
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2010, 07:28:10 PM »
I did wonder that myself!   You would think the voters would complain, wouldn't you? 

Because tellers are volunteers they don't always get the training or instruction and changes in rules they might need. If they've been doing it for years, they don't always read the teller instructions that are up in the foyers of polling stations.

BTW one result of the long queues was that some voters did read the notices and will be more familiar with the rules in future.

Although I had a fairly good experience doing it, there are some things that both parties need to be aware of with tellers. 

Candidates though are another matter.   
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Bogomil

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 571
  • Hello !
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2010, 07:36:24 PM »
Well if they keep changing the rules the tellers certainly need to be kept better informed.
I take it you must have had a full briefing from the party you were telling for then muggings.

Ref the candidates, I hope they were all properly aware of what the rules were and behaved accordingly.

Offline Mart

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5249
  • Where's my cow?
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2010, 08:17:29 PM »
Don't think it matters.

Got millions being spunked telling you which way to vote, what difference does a couple of muppets in rosettes make.

It's like smoking 20 a day then complaining that someone is smoking in the pub.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Liz Walker

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 91
  • Gender: Female
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2010, 08:31:31 PM »
Well if they keep changing the rules the tellers certainly need to be kept better informed.
I take it you must have had a full briefing from the party you were telling for then muggings.

Ref the candidates, I hope they were all properly aware of what the rules were and behaved accordingly.

Hi Bog,

I was given a copy of the rules the day before polling day and did report the actions of said numpty and am following that up with a letter of complaint.

And some voters didn't so much complain as tell the individual to mind his own business.   ;D


Redoubt-supporting victims of anti-social behaviour in Swindon. swindonredoubt@live.co.uk

Offline Chav

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Female
  • INNIT!
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2010, 10:16:04 PM »
I was acting as a teller at the same polling station as Muggins.  I met the rather obnoxious gentleman (and I use the term gentleman loosley) who was wearing an 'illegal' rossette.
He went on to tell voters who to vote for, criticise some for voting Tory (on their way in and out) and in the end I did go and stand outside to take numbers as I did not want to be associated in any way with him.

His antics actually backfired as, having spoken to a couple of people I know by sight, they had been planning to vote for his party but on being told NOT to vote Tory, they promptly did!

When I arrived he was talking to the tellers (that I took over from) in an incredibly supersilious manner and was most put out when he tried it with me and I gave him a very strong reasoned argument to every point he made.  (I love debates and would love to set a debating group up here on the hill)  I was even more annoyed when he seemed surprised that we have teachers, nurses and other professional people leaving in Penhill by choice! 

As someone who has been a life long labour voter this 'gentleman' appalled me and left me thinking if the local labour group has numpties like that in it, I am glad I am not a member .

I was considering rejoining up here after the elections but I won't be now.

Mind you its also given me a lesson learned.  I voted by post for differing parties locally and nationally.

As I no longer work away from home in future I will vote at the station on the day, because, after meeting him, I would have changed my national vote as well.

Its a pity there isnt an 'ofcom' for inappropriate tellers one could complain too! :tickedoff:

I’m shocked by these posts.

I thought it was illegal to try to influence people as they go into the polling station to vote?

I get the idea from what has been said that it was not just one or two remarks.
Why didn’t someone complain?

I think someone did complain Bogomil  :tickedoff:
"Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects." -- Lester B. Pearson.

Offline Richard Symonds

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4022
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2010, 09:26:30 AM »
All complaints regarding the election should be directed to the Returning Officer and Director of Law for SBC Stephen Taylor.  His office was run very efficiently by Sally Sprayson.
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline Steve Wakefield

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2566
  • Gender: Male
Re: So I went to the polls today.......
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2010, 09:45:51 AM »
I am sure that the contents of this thread will be brought to the attention of the head of Law and Democratic services at SBC. He and his team are very professional and I thought they handled a very busy situation well. As I stated elsewhere I was thankfull that in Swindon no one was turned away from our polling stations, despite the comment in the SA article that it was like Iraq. I observed several polling stations and it was brisk. Good to see people participating in democracy when if you recall the pundits were predicting it will be the lowest ever turn out.

After all it was the X-Factor that won it  :)
All posts on this forum are my own opinion and do not represent the views of any council or any political party.  :banana: