After boasting to the Parliamentary Select Committee on voter engagement that his way of tracking down missing voters was far superior to the required door to door canvassing done everywhere else (by telephoning missing voters instead – always assuming you know their landline or mobile numbers) Mark Williams has now recruited a large team of canvassers to do the job.
Wonder what caused the change …..!
It is not so much that Mark Williams is actually doing doorstep canvassing – as the spin that they are now putting on it.
As Mr Williams said at the Select Committee, whilst it may have previously been “optional” (though only if the ERO undertakes alternative “sufficient inquiry”) undertaking a doorstep canvass is now mandatory – the clear implication being that if it was not mandatory he wouldn’t do it because it is apparently not a cost effective way of getting voter registrations in a rural district like East Devon (though apparently it is cost effective in a rural district like South Somerset).
Mr Williams made it clear at the select committee that he believed that doorstep canvassing was ineffective in East Devon.
But as usual, rather than a headline such as “East Devon forced to undertake doorstep canvassing even though it is a waste of money”, EDDC instead say “Home visits aim to boost number of residents registered to vote” – I guess the key cop-out word is “aim” and we will need to wait and see whether they manage to register voters through this doorstep canvas.
You have to wonder if you can ever trust anything that emerges from EDDC’s Press and Publicity department. My guess is that this is where some of those who have been recipients of gagging clauses have been working. Time it was cleared out wholesale.
I don’t wonder at all. The simple answer is you can’t.
I am currently compiling a list of examples of where EDDC say one thing and do another. If would like to send me some, please do so by private email.