I vote. I have done in most elections since I became eligible to vote. Part of the voting process is to hopefully meet a candidate, but more importantly, receive at least one leaflet from the candidate explaining who they are, why someone should vote for that person, and what they will do if they are elected.
The last Police and Crime Commissioner election I as many others had a leaflets from just about all the candidates. However, with one full day before the polls open on Thursday, I have had no knock at the door; or a single leaflet. One candidate, did contact me via my official email address with the offer of a meeting. Well done Bob.
I find the lack of a leaflet very disappointing. If a candidate cannot be bothered to actually explain their priorities to me for this important role, why should I vote for one of the candidates? Though the line given is costs. Yes, leaflets have a cost, and when I seek election, I pay for at least 5000. So why shouldn’t the candidates?
With the lack of leaflets/information, residents have asked me who the candidates are and what they stand for. Luckily, there is a handy, though not that well published, website called Choose my PCC. It lists all the candidates nationally.
For Cornwall and Devon the candidates are:
- Alison Hernandez, Conservative – Info
- Garreth Derrick, Labour – info
- William Morris, Independent – info
- Jonathan Lesley-Smith, UKIP – info
- Bob Spencer, Independent – info
- Richard Younger-Ross, Lib Dem – info
If interested HERE is a link to a downloadable PDF document of all the candidates.
Out of the six candidates standing, only one lives in Cornwall. That candidate is William Morris who lives in Ludgvan.
The Government has chosen the supplementary vote system, instead of the ‘first past the post’ system for these elections. This is currently the system used to elect directly elected mayors, the closest existing role to PCCs.
Under the supplementary vote system, a voter is asked to indicate first and second preferences. If no candidate has more than 50 per cent of the first preference votes, the two candidates with the highest number of first preference votes go forward to a second round.
In Cornwall there will be 425 ballot boxes issued. 408,397 people have currently registered to vote, with around 73,000 registering for a postal vote.
Back in 2012, 63,678 people actually voted of which 29,315 used a postal vote. The last election we saw a pitiful turnout of 15.2%. Just over half, exercised their votes by going to a Polling Station.
Will this improve this time round? Or will the lack of leaflets and information result in people not bothering? Having to seek out information is not the best way to engage with the voting public.
I guess we will find out on Friday morning…