OK, Maybe I'm being a bit thick here, but I always thought that your vote in this country is a private and, if you want, secret thing. Now I understand about exit polls, and if you choose not to tell anyone who you voted for then you are quite within your rights not to do so, but the bit that goes into the ballot box was secret and could not be revealed or traced. That goes to the heart of democracy. Now then, I and my wife are entitled to vote in the London Mayoral elections. As my wife is going to be out of the country we applied for postal votes. This is the first time I have voted by post, so it's all been a bit of a revelation. As part of the postal vote pack you have a declaration to make on a slip of paper. It has your details on it, you have to add your date of birth and your signature. On it is a bar code that identifies you. Along with that are three ballot papers. One for the mayor, one for your local representative and one for something else...can't really remember that bit. However, on each of those papers is a number that corresponds to the bar code on the signature slip. Now, I'm not saying that I am proposing to vote for the BNP or anything....indeed, I'll discuss my politics whith whoever wants to know, but lets just say that I chose to do so. It would not take very many man hours to sort out all the postal ballots that voted for the BNP or anyone else that someone, somewhere decided, to be identified down to a person. In short the powers that be could, if they so desired, know exactly how everybody voted. Now, have I misunderstood the voting principles in this country or does this mean that how we vote either is or can be monitored to see if it fits in with how we should be voting? Isn't this only one step away from how Mugabe sorts out who votes for him?