I have seen my first ballot papers of this election. Unfortunately, I’ve only seen the backs of them rather than how anyone voted – and even if I had seen how people had voted, I’d be committing an offence by telling you how they did. Yes, I was at the first day of opening the postal votes here in Colchester, making sure everything was fair and going OK, as well as getting a first indication of the postal vote turnout. In short, it was a couple of hours of watching people opening envelopes and putting postal ballot forms through scanners.
The point of today – and the next few days of working through the several thousand postal ballots they’re expecting from across the Borough – isn’t to count any votes but to verify them. By getting all that work done now, it means that the vast majority of the postal votes can be easily counted with the rest of the votes on election night, with only the votes that came in on polling day itself needing to be checked before being added to the count.
Elsewhere, we had some comedy injected into the campaign as UKIP put forward Christopher Monckton to answer the Guardian’s questions about their science policy. Their conclusion? “Woeful“. The only other party to be featured in the series so far is the Liberal Democrats, by the way. Lots in there if you’re looking for evidence-based policy, not much if you’re looking for laughs at the expense of swivel-eyed loons.
20 more doors knocked on this evening, taking the total up to 290, but the big box of stuff to deliver hasn’t been touched yet…and seems to have grown with a few more things since I last looked.