Don’t use AV to vote in today’s AV referendum

A quick note about the correct way to complete your ballot paper in the referendum today.

The Electoral Commission states:

You show your choice by putting a cross (X) in the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ box on your ballot paper.

Put a cross in only one box or your vote will not be counted.

Obviously, this referendum is not being conducted under the Alternative Vote system, but I’ve heard some reports of people wanting to emphasise their awareness of AV by actually using it to vote today. Thinking a little self-reference won’t go amiss, some have suggested voting in order of preference, with a 1 for Yes and a 2 for No.

Don’t do it!

Papers bearing a vote for both answers will be rejected:

Electoral Commission guidance for invalid ballot papers


The Electoral Commission have issued examples of votes that the Chief Counting Officer deems to be valid or invalid and states “All of these examples are based on previous case law or taken from the specific rules for this referendum.”

See the booklet Supporting the referendum on the voting system for UK Parliamentary elections – Dealing with doubtful ballot papers.

Update: The @BBCPolitics account has tweeted during the counts overnight,

Small number of ballots spoiled in Lincoln after voters attempted to rank councillors in an Alternative Vote fashion #vote2011

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This entry was posted in Election law and News.
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One Comment

  • “… I’ve heard some reports of people wanting to emphasise their awareness of AV by actually using it to vote today …”

    If anyone filled in a ballot paper like that, they’d be demonstrating they had no understanding at all of how AV works!

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