Change voting day says former Colchester MP

New year honours list.
Sir Bob Russell MP.
EADT 28.4.12
EADT 1.6.12
EADT 7.8.12
EADT 9.8.12

New year honours list. Sir Bob Russell MP. EADT 28.4.12 EADT 1.6.12 EADT 7.8.12 EADT 9.8.12 EADT 11.9.12 EADT 27.9.12 - Credit: Andrew Partridge

Former Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell has called for polling day to be moved to the weekend.

Traditionally elections in the UK are held on a Thursday.

But Liberal Democrat Sir Bob, who lost his seat in the general election said there are many potential benefits to such a switch.

He said: “I recommend the next general election is held over two days, on Saturday 8am-8pm and Sunday 9am-noon, followed by the count.

“Why Thursday? Why count votes in the early hours? Let’s have more sensible days and hours for polling.”

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The veteran politician said switching voting to the weekend would mean it would not be necessary for schools and other public buildings to be shut to be used as polling stations, and it would provide a greater opportunity for electors to vote as well as party activists to campaign.

He added: “If counting started when the polls shut at noon on a Sunday this would end the current practice of people counting through the night. It would be far more civilised.”

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Sir Bob made his comments in a submission to the Electoral Commission, which invited all comments who stood in this year’s general election to comment.

He also added that postal voting was open to fraud and abuse, and that the “very unsafe” method should be reviewed and only used for the disabled or people who are regularly away from home.

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