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Voting in the UK...

By Aleksander Boyd

London 04.05.06 | Went to vote this morning. It took me less than five minutes since setting foot in the polling centre to the moment I left. Came round to the centre, at the end of my street, was carrying my voting card, which contains a code that a voting clerk checks in a list, was given the ballot after another clerk wrote down the code on the left margin of the ballot book, "you've got three votes" he quiped, into the polling booths room I went, selected my three choices in less than a minute, folded the ballot and deposited it in the ballot box. As I came out I asked one of the clerks manning the centre whether I could come upon closing to witness the audit, to which he replied "you should've registered before, however if you so wish you can register for the next election."

What a fantastic experience for a Venezuelan. Why can't we have that? Results will be announced, in all likelihood, in the wee hours of tomorrow morning.

Contrast that with my country that purportedly has one of the world's most technologically-advanced electoral systems. Yet, as reported by the OAS, final results of the last legislative election, which took place 4th of December 2005, have not been made public or submitted to the bodies that undertook observation roles in the process. Folks back home have to queue for hours to vote with electronic machines that more often than not fail to function properly. And on top of everything else no one can audit those devices nor the results produced.

Hugo Chavez is meant to be coming to town. Perhaps those who, out of sheer ignorance, have pledged support to his revolution can talk him into allowing electoral processes to occur under transparent and expedient methods and democratic tenets, such as the ones employed in this country. That would be just great, wouldn't it?



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