Democracy | May 31, 2005

As some of you may have noticed, we recently had an election in the UK. However it was nowhere near as big a deal as the recent elections in the US, primarily because the outcome was a foregone conclusion. However I wanted to have my say and exercise my “democratic” right to vote

I’d recently moved house so as soon as the election was announced I went down to the town hall to register my change of address. With four weeks until the election I didn’t think there would be a problem. Surely the point of announcing an election is to allow people to register or update their details. Especially as there was a big campaign encouraging people to vote going on.

The elections came and went without word from the electoral services officer. I assumed their office had been rammed with applicants and they were just too busy to process my details. However I was pretty angry that I’d been denied my right to vote so sent them a letter of complaint. As it turns out it wasn’t the volume of applicants that prevented me from having my vote, it was pure bureaucracy. By the time the election was called it was already too late to change my details. In fact I needed to send in my application about a month before the election was even announced!

Unfortunately this wasn’t mentioned on the websites I downloaded the application form from. In fact it said that there should be enough time for the change to take effect. Apparently changes are underway to allow registration 11 days before the poll. However I’m still annoyed that I was denied my right to vote for no other reason than bureaucratic red tape.

Posted at May 31, 2005 8:06 PM