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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

Class Poll Hours

Class Poll Hours.

The hours during which a vote can be given, are confined to those during which the working-man is exclusively occupied. The poll opens when he begins to work; the poll closes before he leaves off. He cannot poll before or after the usual working hours. He has only the dinner-hour: and, besides losing his meal he may be too far from a polling-booth to get there and back to his work within the hour. This gives an undeniable advantage to the voters who are not dependent on wages, or to employers who can oiler the bribe of not stopping them for a short day's work. The Parliamentary Elections (Metropolis) Bill, extending the hours of polling in the City and Metropolitan Boroughs of London to 8 o'clock in the evening, was read a third time in the House of Lords on the 21st February, and is no doubt by this time law: the Committee of the House of Commons which recommended it, reporting that they made no recommendation as to rural districts, only because they were not instructed to inquire into the application to them of the proposed alteration. Why should not a reform, adopted without opposition as so desirable at home, be adopted here, where there is a larger proportion of electors employed at daily working-hours than in the old country?