What is a spoilt ballot paper? Protest voting explained

IF you can't think of who you want to vote for on Election Day, you might consider spoiling your ballot paper.

Ballot papers are spoiled to send a political message to Westminster that voters are not happy with the choice of candidates, parties or the voting system.

What is a spoilt ballot paper?

A spoilt ballot paper should leave counters unable to determine the voter's intention.

The Electoral Commission says "doubtful ballot papers" will be placed in a tray for adjudication.

They will still be counted alongside other spoilt ballots.

At the last election in 2017, 0.2 per cent of ballot papers were spoiled.

How can you protest vote?

The Commission says a ballot paper will not be deemed spoilt or void if the intention to vote for one of the candidates "clearly appears".

So people can write a message or create another option, for example, "none of the above".

People can also draw something in the box instead of a cross, for example a smiley face.

But if the drawing fits into the confines of the box, it will considered as a valid vote.

If it is too big, then it will be deemed invalid.

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