This Is Local London
Mayoral election vote system prompts fears of confusion
By Adam Ray
Londoners could be forgiven some confusion when they go to the
polls next June, to cast five different votes: Two choices for a
Mayor, two London Assembly members, and a Member of the European
Fortunately, for the perplexed voter, a new website, run by the
Greater London Returning Officer, has been set up to help Londoners
make sense of the 2004 elections.
The ’ÄòLondon Elects’Äô website is being offered as a ’Äòone-stop shop’Äô
for voters, journalists, and electoral officers, ahead of the June
12 voting day.
Andrew Nye, head of communications for London Elects, an
independent unit under the London returning officer, said many
voters knew little about the workings of the Mayor of London and
London Assembly before the 2000 elections.
This level of uncertainty was exacerbated by the use of
proportional voting for the first time in the capital.
’ÄúAs a result, many people may not have felt they had sufficient
information to cast their vote.’Äù Voter turnout for the 2000 election
was about 34 per cent.
Mr Nye said the 2004 election would be different because the
London Elects was already on promotion and information, with a
12-month lead-in period.
’ÄúWe are ensuring Londoners have access to the information they
need.’Äù The London Elects website offers information in English and
18 other languages, and will be adding more information and updates
as the election draws closer.
A special Mayoral address book will also be produced, with a
brief manifesto from candidates, to be distributed in