In the post today I received my Poll Card for the forthcoming European and local council elections. I don’t usually bother to read all the guff on the back but being a bit bored I suppose, this time I did. It included the following instruction. “Show the presiding officer the number and other unique identifying mark on the back of the ballot paper…….”
I rang the Local Returning Officer and asked him if this ‘number and unique mark’ could in theory be used to identify how I voted. Well, apparently it can but only if I were suspected of Treason! It seems that the master copy of numbers & marks are sealed and kept for six months following an election and were it found that a ballot paper had for example treasonous remarks on the back of it then a judge could order the unsealing of the master copy in order to identify the author of this treason.
Now being a Republican this is a bit unnerving as I just might not be able to help myself and as the Local Returning Officer pointed the penalty for treason is still hanging.