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The big vote: behind the scenes May 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lauravw @ 9:07 pm

Will you be staying up late on Thursday to see the election results come in? I’m planning to – assuming I can stay awake. I think I’ll watch Channel 4’s coverage of things, with a few checks to see what’s happening on the BBC.

I’m usually a bit more closely involved when there is an election on: I work in local government and in the past have often been one of the people sitting counting up the votes, late into the night. It’s a stressful, tiring, repetitive,and yet interesting job to do. Election counts often take place in local sports halls, and there are a lot of people involved. The election candidates and their associates are allowed to walk around and watch you as you work, which can be unnerving – they are looking to see if you’ve missed a vote, or mis-counted. On top of that, the local and national press may well be filming the event and broadcasting live from the site.

In the UK, we’re allowed to vote up until 10pm – at that point, the staff from each of the polling stations shut up shop, and drive the votes that have been cast during the day to a central venue for the area, where they are all counted together. It makes for a very long day – polling stations open at 7am, and so when counting finally gets started at around 10.30pm, people have been up and working for a long time. If the result is close, there could even be a recount – this means all the votes get counted again, and of course by this time it’s even later at night and people are really flagging. Where I live, it’s a safe seat – so there’s unlikely to be a call for a recount. But you never know – it seems like there is change in the air this year.


4 Responses to “The big vote: behind the scenes”

  1. melissa Says:

    I’m extremely excited to vote tomorrow since it’s my first real election since becoming a UK citizen and on top of that, I utterly *love* my MP (yeah, it’s weird, I know!) so I’m very happy to vote for him.

    I don’t think I’ll stay up for the results since I’ve got to work the next day, but at least we’re lucky that we only have one time zone to worry about here! Imagine what the Russian elections are like!

  2. Amy Says:

    Oh my gosh, that does sound like a long day! I will indeed be voting, and can’t wait…it’ll be interesting to see the results come Friday!

    p.s – There’s a Sunshine award for you on my blog 😀

  3. philippa Says:

    Gosh, how interesting.

    I thought about volunteering my services for this election as I currently have rather a lot of free time, but unfortunatly just missed the oppertunity by a day or two.

    But as I don’t have anything to do on Friday, other than set up my sewing machine I do think I will be staying up to watch the results for as long as I can.

  4. Liz Says:

    I remember counting votes in our town hall crypt a couple of times some years ago. I don’t think I could manage to stay awake that long now!

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