Mark Drakeford calls for an end to ‘stubby pencil’ voting

PRESS RELEASE Mark Drakeford AM for Cardiff West

***For Immediate Release***

 30 May, 2012

Mark Drakeford calls for an end to ‘stubby pencil’ voting

Cardiff West Assembly Member Mark Drakeford has called for major reforms to the way people vote in elections so that more people exercise their right to vote at future elections.

With turn-out as low as 34% in the recent local government elections, Mr Drakeford branded the present methods of voting as inconvenient and two centuries out of date.

In a question to Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant, Mr Drakeford asked whether the Minister would consider ways in which participation in local government elections in Wales could be enhanced.

He said : “I want to know whether there is any chance we might drag elections even into the 20th century – never mind the 21st!  At present, ballots are stuck in the 19th century when voters have to leave their homes and make their way to inconvenient locations where they fill in a ballot paper with a stubby pencil in a hastily constructed booth!
“There are all sorts of ways that voting could be made more attractive, more convenient and more accessible.  People have become accustomed to voting electronically as part of popular TV shows so I cannot understand why votes in elections cannot be cast online, by telephone or by other electronic means such as via TV remote.  Another suggestion is for mobile voting booths which  could be taken to streets where people live for example.

“I believe that anxieties about election fraud are overstated and should not be a barrier to the  election reform so badly needed if we are to engage the majority of voters in the democratic process in the future.”