We have had a report from a friend, that at one west London polling station, people are being advised that they are supposedly not allowed to vote for the same person in both the First and Second preference columns.
This is false advice - you obviously can vote for the same person in both columns - it will not improve the chances of that person winning, but it may prevent some electoral fraud:
The London Elects website and leaflets state:
If you only mark a first choice, your vote will be counted - you do not have to cast your second choice vote. But making a second choice cannot reduce the chance of your first choice candidate being successful.
If you only mark a second choice vote and not a first choice vote, no vote will be counted.
If you vote for the same candidate for first and second choice, only one vote will be counted. You cannot improve the chances of your chosen candidate by giving them your first and second choice votes.
Is this an attempt to allow someone to tamper with the ballot papers of anyone who just ticks the First Preference column, leaving the Second Preference column blank ?
An insider could fraudulently fill in the empty Second Preference column to favour their own candidate.
We doubt that the scanning equipment will detect any difference in the style or colour of the crosses in the two columns.
Is this down to ignorance or to Russian / Zimbabwean style election rigging ?
We would be interested to hear if anyone else is being given this sort of false advice.