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Voting the old way in the UK...on paper

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Comment There's an old saying that a true patriot, in receipt of a valid parking ticket, rejoices that the system works. And that's how I feel so far.

I expected to have to fight uphill to be allowed to record part of the traditional paper ballot UK election/voting process in photos and video, but instead everyone has been helpful and friendly.

See the photos of the Brighton and Hove City Council Elections; the material is all free to use for any reasonable purpose, and I hope it'll be an education (as it has been for me) and a source of reference material - dull, but worthy. More material will be going up over the next few days.

The ground-breaking part is being allowed to record the process, actually inside the polling stations. I'm not allowed to interfere with nor record any individual's vote, nor otherwise undermine the security of the ballot, but I can show you what the stations and booths and ballot boxes and seals and so on are like.

The first step was to become an Accredited Observer of the Electoral Commission as an earlier Reg story alerted me to the possibility of; the commission understood what I was trying to do and got me accredition within a few days.

As an observer I can observe the whole process (and, except in fairly limited circumstances, cannot be prevented from doing so), but I cannot record it; for that I need the permision of the poll's returning officer, and again I expected a struggle - and was wrong! Brighton and Hove's returning officer and deputies imposed some minimal conditions, but basically just said yes and bent over backwards to help.

The story continues tomorrow with the count and results... ®

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