The Election Is A Comin’

// 21 April 2010

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I’m not recruiting for votes. I haven’t even conclusively decided who I’m voting for. So I thought I’d share some of the tools and sites I’ve been looking at to help me to decide who will get a cross on my ballot paper, and who will definitely not!

There are quizzes like Who Should You Vote For? online, where you tell them your attitudes to policies, and they tell you at the end which parties your views seem to coincide with the most.

Abortion Rights are doing an election campaign. You can download a factsheet, and lobby your candidates via the site. You just type in your postcode and it lets you email all your local candidates. It then requests that you let them know your candidates’ responses to their questions on abortion rights, so that others who enter their postcode can see where everyone stands.

I have only had a response from one candidate (Green, and she answered the way I hoped she would), but hopefully the others will be forthcoming too.

Similarly, the UK Disabled People’s Council have put together a list of questions which you may want to question your prospective MPs about.

MyGayVote.co.uk has pie charts showing how the different parties have fared in terms of their past votes on LGBT issues.

Planet Mouret Films is “a blog designed for learning disabled adults and those who are involved in the LD community”, with lots of straight forward information about the general election, links to easy-read information about voting, easy-read manifestos and the rights of learning disabled adults to vote.

And Scope are urging “local authorities to act immediately to make sure polling stations are more accessible. They have warned that some people may find it difficult to vote in next month’s elections but said it was not too late for councils to make a difference.”

Comments From You

Holly Combe // Posted 21 April 2010 at 11:41 pm

Very useful stuff! Thanks for posting it.

I’d also recommend this site:

http://voteforpolicies.org.uk/

I’ve only just discovered it but, on the basis of what I’ve seen it looks like it’s been constructed in a reasonably fair manner, by getting to the root of people’s beliefs through unlabelled party policy statements on central issues. It only goes by best fit though so anyone who agrees with some policies in their favoured group of statements and not others will obviously find the results less accurate.

Jessica // Posted 22 April 2010 at 8:48 am

Regarding the comment from Scope — the Electoral Commission monitors the election and looks at issues such as access to polling stations. The guidance sent by the Electoral Commission to local councils says that all polling stations should be accessible. So if you see a polling station which is not accessible then take a picture and let your local council and the Electoral Commission know.

R // Posted 22 April 2010 at 3:15 pm

You can also find out your candidates’ positions on animal rights here: http://www.vote4animals.org.uk/

Hey // Posted 22 April 2010 at 5:05 pm

Don’t vote for the Tories!

Ros // Posted 23 April 2010 at 12:21 pm

In relation to the accessibility of polling stations. Some people may choose to use a postal vote instead so they don’t have to travel unneccessarily.

I thought it was interesting that we recieved no information from our local authority about setting up a postal vote (or proxies – do they do them any more?) but our MP wrote with details of how to set one up. A disabled relative not supporting the party of our MP disregarded her letter as canvassing and may have lost the opportunity to vote. The only contact from the local council is the polling cards themselves.

Philippa Willitts // Posted 23 April 2010 at 8:38 pm

Thanks Ros. I use a postal vote, and have done for a few years ago, but I do strangely miss going to the polling station and doing it there!! I guess it’s about having the option either way.

It’s not good that your local council didn’t let you know about the option. I think when I was filling in the yearly (?) form to register to vote, there was a tick box on that about whether you wanted to register to vote by post.

Ros // Posted 24 April 2010 at 3:06 pm

You may be right Philippa; I’ll have a closer look at the registration forms next time. My council does tend to be a bit blase about such things, often they put help in place but forget to tell anyone. I dread to think how many people won’t vote (despite having registered) because of difficulties like these.

Cazz Blase // Posted 25 April 2010 at 6:42 pm

I’ve been a sorter and opener of postal votes in 2004, and a poll clerk in 2005. If you don’t get sent info about registering for a postal vote, you can phone the number on your polling card. Also, proxie votes do still exist, again, phone the number on your polling card. Unfortunately I’ve only just got round to reading this post, or I would have put this info up earlier, so apoligies if the deadlines for registering as a postal voter or using a proxy have now passed…

magic_at_mungos // Posted 26 April 2010 at 10:28 am

Unfortunately the deadline for registering for a postal vote for this election has now passed. It was on the 20th April.

You can still register for a proxy vote as long as yoou get ytour forms in to your council by 27th April by 5pm. However, if you have a medical emergency up to 6 days before the election, you can still register for an emergency proxy up until 5pm on election day itself.

So it’s not too late!

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