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84

There's a process that's meant to be followed if someone arrives at a polling station to find that someone has already voted in their name or they're recorded as having received a postal vote (a 'tendered vote' can be made, although it isn't counted). If the polling station closed early then this might be made impossible. For this reason it would not make ...


69

Polling hours are set out in Schedule I of the Representation of the People Act, 1983, as "between the hours of 7 in the morning and 10 at night". There is nothing in the Act that allows a polling station to close early if all voters have voted.


59

This answer is tainted by my German experience and views, but I expect many instances of it to apply to the US, too. With the traditional concept of an election day, all people have the opportunity to make up their mind up to that very day. With postal voting, the vote needs to be posted some time before to make it to the counting station in time. Now ...


45

"Disproportionate representation" describes the result without making any reference to the cause. For example, States have disproportionate representation in the Senate is a perfectly reasonable description. If you want to be more specific as to what kind of proportionality you're talking about, you could specify with States have disproportionate ...


41

While the other answers address legitimate, valid reasoning why voting-by-mail has some hurdles to overcome before it can become a national policy, this decision is ultimately made by legislators, and thus their motives are the primary drivers of what becomes law. In 2012, the Republican party was at a crossroads. The old-guard branch of the GOP, as ...


27

In countries where voting is compulsory the first option (nullifying your vote) will probably let you abide by the law, while the second might not. E.g. Former Australian opposition leader Mark Latham urged Australians to lodge blank votes for the 2010 election. He stated the government should not force citizens to vote or threaten them with a fine. At ...


25

I'd like to predicate this by saying that it is, by definition, impossible to have completely accurate statistics on incidents of something like voter fraud, since voter fraud done "well" is undetected. I'll also use some data taken from the Heritage Foundation, since they have conducted the majority of the studies on voting fraud. The Heritage Foundation ...


23

Unclear on many levels and very US centric. "True democracy" is indeed a problematic qualifier. On many levels. As is 'universal suffrage'. Why not let 16 year olds vote? Like South Africa did in 1890, Law No. 5? Or Iran with 15 (until 2007). How much 'direct democracy' is in the United States? How many felons are exempt from universal suffrage in the US? ...


22

I will provide a complementary answer for the more general interpretation of the question in your title: What is the difference between nullifying your vote and not going to vote at all? If the voting refers to a referendum it might actually make a difference. E.g. Today Romania also held a referendum (along with the EU Parliamentary elections). By law in ...


22

@Jan's answer is a good one, though I would be a bit more a fundamentalist about it. A postal vote is not a secret ballot and (inter alia) contravenes the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights and many other agreements. You must be UNABLE to prove how you voted In the UK, the US and elsewhere ballot secrecy was a ...


18

When you do not vote, you are basically saying "everything is fine, no matter who wins." When you spoil your vote, you are either saying "none of the above, and things are not fine" or "oops, didn't read the instructions." Unfortunately the last two can be hard to tell apart from the published election percentages, but if there is a significant movement ...


16

Regarding constitutional guarantees and rules related to elections and voting rights: The relevant text of the United States Constitution, article 1, section 4 reads: The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law ...


16

As a resident of Washington state, I’m a big fan of mail-in ballots. I know that you didn’t ask for upsides, but the fact that you can take the time to sit down to research and consider the issues and candidates, rather than rushing to fill out your ballot in a crowded public school gym, makes it much easier to be an informed voter. Still, there are some ...


14

In most systems there is no substantial difference. In the UK system, blank ballots (along with other invalid ballots, such as people who vote twice, or sign the ballot paper) are counted as "spoiled" and when the result is announced the number of votes for each candidate is read out, along with the number of spoiled ballots. The percentage isn't ...


14

Maybe those people were talking about blank vote, not null vote. There are two main types of protest voting: null voting and blank voting. Null voting is when your ballot has drawings on it, is defaced in some way, has more candidates selected than it should, is not an actual ballot (e.g. you put a picture of Donald Duck inside the envelope), etc. Blank ...


13

Per the wiki article you linked to in your question, secret ballots were introduced to fight things like vote buying, intimidation, and blackmailing. In principle, one is a public display of opinion (free or not is completely irrelevant), while the other is a private vote -- even if you publicly say that you voted for this or that (freely or not is also ...


13

Given this relates directly to the Supreme Court ruling, turning to the majority opinion, which covered this, sheds some light on what rights they explicitly upheld. It's also worth noting that these are directly related to Congressional redistricting: In two areas—one-person, one-vote and racial gerrymandering—this Court has held that there is a role ...


12

According to Wikipedia, some countries that do register citizens for voting without them having to explicitly ask for it are: Chile Czech Republic Denmark Finland Germany Iceland Israel Italy Mexico Norway Peru South Korea Spain Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Commenters also pointed out these additional examples: The Netherlands Poland Portugal Usually voter ...


10

The shortest term I can come up with for this result is "sovereign states are entitled to their own opinions and interests." The error in your judgement is the assumption that US States are arbitrary lines drawn on a map, and that the apparent disconnect between the ideological makeup of the Senate is just as arbitrary as the makeup of gerrymandered ...


10

Despite the potential ambiguity, "territorial representation" seems to be a generic term used for this (see quotes toward the end of my post). In the US, the equal territorial (=state) representation in the Senate is known as the Connecticut Compromise The Connecticut Compromise (also known as the Great Compromise of 1787 or Sherman Compromise) was an ...


10

Briefly: Yes, you can change the ballot to a different party in the booth. In Sweden sometimes you get ballots in the mail from parties eager to gain your vote. There are also ballots in the voting place. You pick these 'publicly' from a stand and it is normal to pick many of them and bring several into the voting station (behind curtain) and then pick ...


10

Because it prevents suppression of poor and minority voters. Within hours of Shelby County v. Holder, which removed a requirement for states with a history of voter suppression to clear changes to voting laws beforehand, these states once again started to suppress voting rights: The Brennan Center for Justice has consistently found that states previously ...


9

what has been the lowest percentage of the vote that a President has been elected on? This has only ever happened 5 times. John Quincy Adams comes lowest with 30.92% in 1824, but that electoral year was very unusual: No candidate won a majority of the electoral vote, becoming the only election to require a contingent election in the House of ...


9

Coming a bit late here and it's already clear that there are many arguments against postal voting and various combinations of those are likely to be the reason why one state or another has not switch to postal voting. On top of all the named reasons there is one concept - credibility. The election is not credible if the losing party can plausibly claim that ...


8

No. It's usually expected that somebody has read it, and this is supposed to happen in the committee stage. It's not formally required by the process. Very few votes are free votes: most are to some extent "whipped", where MPs are expected to follow the party line. The "three line whip" is where the statement of how they are expected to vote has been ...


8

Whenever my local municipality discusses mail-based voting, the fraud problem always seems to be the one to derail it. Nearly every election fraud/tampering conviction we see on the news goes back to mail-in ballots in some way. One common scheme (of many) is for a fraudster to either forge an application on behalf of someone else, or to intercept the ...


7

First, I think that the question is not very well posed. Is it because they are "young democracies/countries" (compared to the US and the UK) What is a "young democracy"? The Athenian democracy in antiquity, the Republic of Venice or Switzerland are much older than the US or democracy in the UK. The UK has a long democratic tradition with a Magna Charta ...


7

Let's be clear about what we're talking about first. Shelby County v Holder was about the practice of preclearance, where a state needed Department of Justice approval to change voting laws. A major problem was the 2006 bulk renewal of the Voting Rights Act, which extended the preclearance rules, as written in 1975, until 2031. A point of contention in the ...


7

The 9th amendment has very little jurisprudence (binding court decisions, particularly from SCOTUS) behind it*. Most of what is available are in non-binding concurrences or dissents. It has very rarely been used to any legal effect, with the 14th amendment in particular providing the overwhelming majority of constitutional rights protections. Before about ...


6

A person who did not vote for A or B may be: Opposed to both A and B Not aware there is a vote Too busy or lazy to go vote Ordinarily, it is not easy to decide on the proportions of these. But nullified voters are clearly aware of the vote and care enough to show up. Therefore they can be an indication of whether both choices in a vote were poor. For ...


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