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Not Too Late

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Oy! This is important. Ive had two conversations since the elections were called with people who arent around to vote on 6 May and were saying that its too late to register for a postal vote. Not so! The system has been changed to be more flexible, and the deadline for registration is much later than in the past – I imagine in response to the historic lows of the last two turnouts, 59.4 per cent in 2001 and 61.4 per cent in 2005. The deadline for registering to vote is 20 April. This applies to both postal votes and votes from overseas. There may be quite a few LRB readers for whom this is relevant. You can do everything you need to do online here.

Comments on “Not Too Late”

  1. Julia Atkins says:

    Can we still apply for postal votes on behalf of recently deceased relatives who are still on the electoral register? I know a number of people in the Midlands who did so last time without being caught. The dead souls vote might be decisive this time. It might also be interesting to hear who LRB readers and bloggers are intending to vote for this time. I voted Lib-Dem in 2005 and we defeated the sitting New Labour person who was pro-war and pro-everything that the government did. This time I won’t since Clegg went out of his way to praise Thatcher and Vince Cable is a hardline supporter of the war in Afghanistasn, unlike 63 percent of the population. I won’t be voting this year, but thanks for the tip on postal votes. Will pass it on to non-LRB readers.

  2. astott says:

    I looked into this as an ex-pat, but was stymied by the fact that I spent much of my 20s and early 30s moving from flat to flat and consistently trying to dodge the poll, then council, tax. As a result, I have no idea where I was last registered to vote. It’s actually easier for me now to wait two more years and get US citizenship than it is to vote in a UK election.

    I suppose it proves I’m not as smart as I thought I was. Thatcher gets me in the end.

  3. Jenny Diski says:

    What other way is there, apart from not voting for any of the available options, of confirming my dismay at any of them forming a government? I don’t say ‘registering’ or ‘expressing’ my dismay because I think the idea of a vote (or otherwise) being any kind of message is irrelevant. I simply can’t imagine why I would pretend my vote – which once, I quite understand, was hard won – is of interest either to me or to any of the parties.

    • Phil says:

      The obvious answer is to vote for one of the other options. Unless I end up voting Labour to express my particular dislike of the Lib Dem incumbent – who, like Julia Atkins’s MP, won his seat on an anti-Iraq War vote – I’m planning to vote Green on very much these grounds. This has the additional advantage of being a much clearer signal (assuming lots of other people also do it) than abstaining (even if lots of other people do that).

      There’s an established tradition in Italy of protesting by voting with a blank ballot paper – in the final tallies blank papers are counted separately from spoilt papers. That would also work, although again it would depend on lots of other people doing likewise.

  4. Camus123 says:

    Wasn’t there a piece about the non-importance of a single vote in the LRB recently? Written by David Marchand, I think. Required reading for all you doubters and ponderers.

  5. Camus123 says:

    Did my homework. Here’s the link: Why Not Eat an Eclair?
    David Runciman: Why Vote? [9 October 2008]

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