Remember those lovely "Easy Voting Cards" that were supposed to make voting faster? They did not. Most people around me at the polling station could not see any point in them at all. You still lined up like sheep. You were herded to an electoral official. S/he took the 'card' and looked your name up. You were then asked to give your name and your address. It was ruled off and the card was returned to you along with the ballot papers.
You could of course be anybody at all. You just need to be able to recite the name and address on the card. If you forgot the card you just had to recite a name and address. Easy. The only thing you need to ensure is that you do not give the name and address of someone who has had their name ruled off by that particular electoral official.
How often this happens is impossible to know. The Electoral Commission will probably say it does not occur. Why would anyone else want to vote in your name? The answers to that are apparently obvious to everyone except the Electoral Commission. Perhaps it does not occur very often but it occurred at least once yesterday.
The conversation went something like this,
"Have you voted yet?"
"Did it just after they opened."
"What about Mum and Dad?"
"Jan and I voted for them."
"Voted for them?!"
"It was easy. We just took those cards with us. We voted at the school and then we went down to the church hall and did theirs. Saved a lot of hassle."
As simple as that. I wish I had been in possession of a spy like video-recorder to record what was going on behind me. Their actions probably did not influence the outcome of the election but the casualness with which this law breaking was announced left me feeling more than a little uneasy.
It also made me very aware of just how easy it would be to manipulate the results if you were determined enough.