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To think they shouldn't be allowed to harass voters leaving the polling station

(97 Posts)
PatPig Thu 02-May-13 15:07:14

Went to vote earlier. The incumbent councillor was there (he's a twat) with about four others from his party. As each person came out they were asking for polling numbers.

I slipped in behind another woman when I was leaving so I wouldn't be hassled and have to struggle not to tell them to 'fuck off'. The woman said 'NO!' when asked for her polling number, and then they gave some BS excuse why it was needed, and I think she gave it to them.

Anyway, AIBU to think they should fuck right off from crowding the narrow entrance, chugger style, and harassing voters?

Fakebook Thu 02-May-13 20:35:10

We had one, and she was from the Labour Party because dh asked her.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 02-May-13 20:39:11

I am quite happy to tell them my number.
I don't understand what the problem is.

I also have no problem with them asking me who I voted for.

I can always decline if I wish.

ReturnOfEmeraldGreen Thu 02-May-13 22:31:25

I have voted in 5 or so different places and never encountered a teller.

PS: I have looked at some of the OP's other posts and I think she is a Tory, quelle surprise hmm

raisinggirls Thu 02-May-13 22:42:44

I didn't have my card with me so I didn't know my number. Not a problem when I went in, the returning officer (is that what they are called - the people behind the desk?) just looked me up on their list and wrote down my number from there.

If you don't want to be hassled, just tell them you haven't got your card. I did have two toddlers with me instead though, so they probably didn't want to come too close!

Myliferocks Thu 02-May-13 22:43:42

The lone Teller outside the polling station where I voted let me slip through her net.
The room where I voted is in a school and is opposite the reception. I took DS2 with me who had his school uniform on. He doesn't attend the school but the school uniform he wears is the same colour.
I think the lady thought that I was just a parent going to reception as she looked up at me as I walked past, smiled and went back to whatever she was reading.
She looked bored stiff but she missed a golden opportunity to speak to someone.

raisinggirls Thu 02-May-13 22:45:40

The reason I want to keep my vote secret is because people died so that I could do so.

The same reason that I vote at all - women went through incredible struggles to get me the vote, I owe it to them to make my informed selection. This I do based on the individual candidates, so FWIW I have voted for a different party each time over about the last 6 elections.

You can't just assume things about a person's political leanings because they do or do not choose to give over their polling card to the tellers. hmm

ShadowStorm Thu 02-May-13 22:52:51

This all sounds a bit confusing. I've never been tackled on my way out of the polling station by people wanting to know my polling number.

And I don't understand the point of it. When I went in to get my ballot paper, I gave my card to the lady behind the table, and she crossed my name off her list, so the offical ballot people know I voted. Why would other people outside the polling station also need to know whether I'm on their list, when I've already voted?

tiggytape Thu 02-May-13 23:00:51

ShadowStorm - The lady in the booth is neutral. She doesn't care if you vote or not or who you vote for.
The tellers are political. They belong to different parties. So if they see from their form that you haven't voted, they might come and knock on your door later to encourage you to vote (usually only if you've told them before that you support them or if the area is one where the result is often close)

WafflyVersatile Thu 02-May-13 23:09:33

Why would it be saving me from being bothered later? They go knocking on every door they don't have a card in a whole ward?

No one has ever knocked on my door at 9pm urging me to get out and vote.

tiggytape Thu 02-May-13 23:16:42

Waffly - it is pretty rare to get knocked up!
Honestly - that's what they call it. Knocking up voters!

If you told a Labour candidate in the campaign that you fully intend to vote Labour, and if yours is an area where either Lib Dems or Labour might win in a very close result, a Labour person might call at your house at 6pm if they see you haven't voted yet.

Sometimes they call at lunch time and knock you up by card instead so to speak (they pop a card through the door reminding you to vote Labour for example)

ShadowStorm Thu 02-May-13 23:21:31

So, can the tellers only see the list the lady in the booth has (the one you have to get crossed off on to get the ballot paper) once the doors on the polling station are closed to voters?

tiggytape Thu 02-May-13 23:28:16

Tellers have their own list. They collect the numbers of voters as they leave the polling stations.
The lady inside is the official person. She takes everyone's number before they vote.
The Tellers have no powers and are not offcials. They are volunteers working for each political party. They cannot make you show your number whereas the lady inside can.

Myliferocks Thu 02-May-13 23:30:14

When I voted, the man checked my name and address and then wrote a number down on a pad against what looked like other numbers.
Why did he do that?

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 23:31:05

The people outside asking for your number are not in any way official or part of the voting process. They are local party officials.

They want to know if you've voted. That's not about getting out late voters who might support them, it's about knowing whose opinions it's worth listening to, where it's worth leafleting etc. If your street doesn't bother voting much and you're statistically likely to be their party voters, you'll get hassled next time in the run up to the vote. If you're in an area that doesn't bother voting good luck at getting the council to listen if you have a problem in your street.

WafflyVersatile Thu 02-May-13 23:31:52

Ah well, I'd be unlikely to tell anyone I was going to vote for them so I'll not worry.

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 23:33:05

Because you only get one! That's inside the voting room. You are handed one ballot and your name is crossed off, so you can't come back five minutes later and go again grin. The list is the electoral roll - the names of those who can vote in that area.

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 23:34:32

And the ones outside want your number to know if you vote. They've never asked me who for. They just want to know you vote.

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 23:35:36

You don't actually need your number to vote! You can just turn up, even if you've left your card at home.

ShadowStorm Thu 02-May-13 23:36:58

Can't they find out who voted from the electoral roll the official lady has?

Or is that top secret?

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 23:41:25

It's not top secret, but they wouldn't be there if they could just look at that. In some polling stations they are altogether too cosy with the officials. I've seen one set up inside a polling station with a desk, chair, clipboard and rosette looking like they had every right to be there. She wasn't happy when she had to move her chair outside after my Grandma complained grin

beals692 Thu 02-May-13 23:48:14

"When I voted, the man checked my name and address and then wrote a number down on a pad against what looked like other numbers.
Why did he do that?"

After marking you as having voted on the electoral register (so you don't come back later for a second go!) your elector number is written on a list next to the ballot paper number you have been given. At the close of poll, this goes in a sealed envelope which can only be opened on the orders of a judge if they are investigating electoral fraud.

Myliferocks Thu 02-May-13 23:50:38

Thank you beals692!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 02-May-13 23:55:11

I am not really understanding what is so bad about anyone encouraging me to vote, either. If they come to my door and I don't wish to speak to them, I say so.

Really don't get this thread

Mumsyblouse Thu 02-May-13 23:56:55

Someone phoned me today and said 'oh hello, I'm from the X councillor's party, have you been and voted yet?' I said 'yes', she said 'may I ask if you voted for X councillor?' I said 'no, you may not ask'!!!

Can you believe it- phoning up and asking who I'd voted for? Umm it's a secret, that's the whole point.

JennySense Fri 03-May-13 00:14:31

When I stood for Council elections this is what happened:
Tellers asked voters for their polling numbers. The numbers were picked up at intervals by other party volunteers and continually fed into some software on a computer.
The numbers were matched against the info we'd been given on the doorstep, particularly so we could check if our supporters had voted yet and could "knock up" if we needed to.
From the numbers we could see whether "our vote" had turned out versus the opposition's vote, albeit with a margin of error.

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