Simple and fair way

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In Thursday’s Star, (June 8), Returning Officer John Mothersole encouragedpeople to vote by claiming that one vote can change the result.

While I agree that more people should vote, and like other countries it should be mandatory, getting more people to vote will not solve the problem of a dead heat unless he can guarantee an odd number of voters.

One of his arguments is that one year when the result of the election was a dead heat he had to decide the result by drawing lots, (this has also happened in other areas).

Considering that this country is supposedly one of the most developed in the world it seems amateurish and unfair to resort to this method.

Further, why has no satisfactory standby plan been considered for an eventuality which has occurred more than once in the past and will no doubt occur again in the future?

Imagine that the winner of the lot drawing then went on to have the deciding vote in Parliament, quite possibly, this could then affect the future of the country.

We could enter into a war as a result of it or even leave or stay in the European Union.

Surely by now the electoral people could have come up with a better system than drawing lots? T

he obvious solution is a re-run of the election but that costs money and takes time and the loss of or delay of one seat may prevent the forming of a government.

Voters are clearly told to “place an X in the box”.

In the event of a dead heat why not disqualify any Xs that are not solely inside the box?

Why not disqualify votes made in other than the pencil provided? Voters would have to be warned preferably in writing by notices at the polling station.

At the time of counting potentially disqualified votes could be counted separately so that in the event of a dead heat they could be placed on one side and only the qualifying votes counted.

Having taken part in elections in the 1970s, including counting, I know from personal experience how dispiriting and tiring it is when a recount is needed.

Kensington and Chelsea is not the only constituency which has had recounts.

The above is one solution, there must be a simple and fair way of providing a victor when there is a dead heat.

SW Ryszka

Thorpe House Road, Norton Lees, Sheffield, S8

Drawing straws

While urging the electorate to go out and vote is a good idea the suggestion that voting will avoid the need to draw straws is about as naive as it comes. Simply put, my going out to vote is just as likely to cause a dead heat as it is to give one candidate a majority.

One might expect better from a senior member of the Sheffield executive management team, but then again perhaps not.

Alistair Nicoll

Eastgate, Sheffield, S6

Polling station mix-up

I would be interested to know what criteria are used when allocating polling stations.

My disabled daughter and myself were sent to one a mile and a half away and up a steep hill with no transport connection. Yet there was one 100 yards away and much more accessible.

I called into the nearest to check if this was correct only to find other elderly and disabled people in the same position, with no way of being able to access the allocated station. This resulted in people who made a effort to vote not being able to.

Paul Webster

Heeley

Fair voting system?

Former Shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie is claiming that Labour missed an “open goal”, an odd interpretation of the result given that eight weeks ago the team were still squabbling about what colour shirts to wear.

Had Labour MPs truly supported Jeremy Corbyn after the second leadership vote, they might now be in government.

Under the undemocratic first past the post system, only 110,000 votes – less than 0.5 per cent of the national vote – in marginal constituencies would have given them a majority.

Labour’s 262 seats fairly reflect their 40 per cent vote share, but the Conservatives have 42 more than their fair share of 276 seats.

The myth that FPTP favours Labour is exploded, as is the idea that it produces stable one-party government.

With Proportional Representation, parties opposed to cruel cuts and starving the NHS would have a clear majority of both seats and votes, with widespread public support for moderate policies to benefit the many, and Labour would be the senior partner in government.

So what about it, Angela, Gill and Louise, Clive, Jared and Paul?

Will your party take the opportunity to press for a fair voting system? In the next election – perhaps later this year – will Labour put itself at the front of a government that reflects the votes of the people? Or will you gamble, as Mrs May did, on perverse electoral arithmetic giving you a majority that you haven’t earned?

J Robin Hughes

Towngate Road, Worrall, Sheffield, S35

We don’t count much

Well congratulations to Gill Furniss for being relelected for the Brightside and Hillsborough Constituency.

Hillsborough was until recently a constituency with a long history of distinguished representatives such as AV Alexander and David Blunkett and some of us feel we don’t count much these days – being regarded as too affluent. That view was reflected in your recent Election literature with its lack of reference to an area that has its problems.

So Gill be like me – don’t always look on the bright side.

Ron Clayton

S6

Labour can do Brexit

What does The Star think about Sheffield being Labour, all of it now and the Conservatives doing deals with the DUP just to stay in power? I think the Labour Party should now do the Brexit deal to take us out of Europe.

Paul Gregory

by email

They are not my club

In response to Sharron Challoner, Saturday, June 10, Sheffield Wednesday is not my club, nor am I a fan.

It is just an observation but the recent signings by Sheffield United can’t be exciting the fans as they have been signed from Portsmouth, Hartlepool and Chesterfield.

I think the Blades will struggle in the bottom half of the league next season.

Lee Johnson

by email

Happy birthday

Happy 130th! Keep up the good work. Hopefully you intend relocating to somewhere in the city centre.

John Bisby

S6