Electoral Commission makes sensible ruling (but you should ignore it)

The Electoral Commission has made a sensible ruling over election imprints. It comes in a case involving the SNP:

The law states that only election material that seeks to promote a political party or category of candidates at relevant elections is legally required to have an ‘imprint’. The contents of the “activist guide” associated with ‘the National Survey’ do not seek to do this and therefore does not require an ‘imprint’.

That’s sensible, because the intent of imprint rules is to make it clear to voters who is doing what. An internal note pinned on the fridge door in a campaign HQ reminding the agent to buy more milk, for example, is not in need of an imprint even if the milk reminder is theoretically visible by an inquisitive voter walking past the kitchen window.

But… the sensible approach to imprints is ‘put one on everything’ you print or publish. That’s because it makes for a simple rule, easy to follow and therefore hard to make a mistake. Once you start getting into stopping to think about whether or not the next item requires an imprint you start opening up the chance of making mistakes.

It is a major distinction between the disorganised person who isn’t as smart as they think they are, and the really good organiser. Do you voluntarily add in to the way you do things extra risks, or do you design your approach to your work so as to minimise risks? Far better to cultivate a habit of simplicity which reduces error – and that means stick an imprint on everything printed or otherwise published.


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