Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Hayes wins in 13% turnout

Congratulations to Ben Hayes on becoming the new supporters’ director. I didn’t vote for the man myself, but I’m sure that he will do a decent job of representing us over the next two years.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Ben, and what he plans to do during the course of his term, you can visit his own website here, or look through his question and answer session with Inspector Sands here.
Both pages are worth reading if you haven’t done so already, After all, if you wish to make your own voice heard by the club over the next 2 seasons, then Ben is the channel through which you will likely have to go.

I remember commenting on this page that it would be interesting to see just how many Addicks would be turning out to vote in this election, and now we have the answer.
A paltry 2,120 of the clubs 15,000 adult season ticket holders bothered to voice their opinion, and 20% of those who voted managed to spoil their ballot papers, rendering their opinions worthless. The upshot is that the winning candidate was only 92 votes ahead of the candidate in last place. And 87% of the people eligible to vote didn’t even bother.

I thought that due to the amount of coverage given to this election by the club we could expect a far more healthy turn out than that.
I’m sure that there were more than a few supporters who wanted to vote, but couldn’t really be arsed to queue up at the polling station on matchday. The ease and convenience of being able to vote online simply by clicking a link should have been enough to sway those people into making their choice.
It’s 2006, no one is going to tell me that supporters truly don’t have access to the internet. Even if not at home, I don’t imagine that there is an office or library in the country without a modem…

Perhaps the problem was that certain fans felt that whoever was elected wouldn’t be able to deliver upon all of their policies anyway; perhaps the whole position is viewed with a sceptical eye by a large group of our season ticket holders.

Here is Varney’s take on the result –

"Offering a place to a supporter on the board of a football club is something that is unique in the Premiership, and I believe that when the board reviews the process, although the turnout is larger than on the last occasion, they will still be disappointed with the low number of voters and by the excessively large number of spoilt ballot papers.”

Incidentally, the number of spoilt ballot papers was 423, which is 18 more than the total number of people who voted for the incumbent director.
For the record, Vince came second (8 votes behind), Sue Townsend was third, and Brian Cole came fourth.

Looking at these figures, I’m not so sure we will get the chance to vote again once Hayes’ term comes to an end.


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