As mundane as the electoral roll

Across NE47 yesterday, the electoral register forms dropped through letterboxes, seemingly informally addressed to The Householder, and yet bearing a warning that legally the recipient(s) must reply.

The electoral roll is an important compilation, used by a variety of governmental and non-governmental agencies and businesses (it’s publicly available). So it would be silly not to mention the form’s arrival, in this daily diary, but man, how mundane can we get, eh? That is to say, this is a necessary, but ultimately almost excruciatingly boring, diary entry today.

And yet, this is participatory democracy; this is how we ensure we are registered voters, able to participate in the collective decision about the sort of government we want.

You can ensure that the correct details of the eligible voters at the specific address are registered with the county council, who manage the roll, by a variety of ways: by returning the completed form in the freepost envelope, which will be seen by a real person, and thereby possibly subject to any number of human errors; by engaging with one of the automated services, which could be facilitated by going online and entering your specific passwords in order to “confirm no changes, make changes, or add new people”, or by telephone or text if no changes to the form are required. Of course, the automated services are subject to any number of machine errors. So you take your pick, and hope that at some point on down the calendar, your electoral roll card comes back to you in time for the next election.

In fact, it does look rather like pre-election fever at this point, and the August silly season won’t dampen that speculation at all, regardless of the disavowals of the current government. They may not call an election, but they might very well be forced to by a resounding vote of no confidence, of course, not least from the grandees of their own party. Time will tell, but nobody would want to bet against another visit to the polling stations [sigh] again this year, and probably, inevitably, before the 31st of October.

If, and it’s a big if, there’s a clear-cut decision coming out of the election, then we can all be delighted that, in fact, ‘the people’ have spoken. But so much more likely will be another hung parliament, a coalition of parties holding a new government to ransom (I heard the latest price was a mere £1billion, which appeared suddenly from the ‘magic money tree’ that wasn’t quite available for the NHS). Hmmm.

But still, around these parts, and certainly within our age group (optimistically 50-80), voters are keen to make their votes count, and so they should. Better yet, so should younger potential voters, for whom decisions made in the next few months will echo and reverberate down the generations.

So, granted it’s mundane and boring, but it’s necessary: send those Household Enquiry Forms back ASAP!

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