Electoral Commission spends £55,000 on ice cream scoops and cats
A Freedom of Information request has revealed that Britain's Electoral Commission has spent a chunk of taxpayer cash on a bizarre online offering for citizens
It may seem like a drop in the ocean considering the vast amount of waste in Britain's public sector, but the Electoral Commission, tasked primarly with regulating political parties and their financing, has revealed that it has spent almost £55,000 on a new website encouraging people to register to vote.
The initiative, known as ItsYourVote.org.uk went live earlier this year and uses some bizarre methods to seek to convince people to register to vote. The site asks you for your postcode, upon which a selection screen launches, asking you to choose between an ice cream scoop, a cat and a fairground game. Once you've chosen, disaster is brought forth upon your neighboured, as the ice cream scoop digs you away, the cat burns you to cinders or the winch from a fairground game lifts you into the air.
Supposedly, the website is supposed to convince you not registering to vote is a similar fate to one of these bizarre situations. After a cat has burned your neighbourhood, the website reads, "Register to vote now or come election time, you may as well be vaporised by Catzilla's rainbow lasers".
The site was designed by from high-end web agency by the name of DLKW Lowe, which the Electoral Commission retains for web-related services. The Electoral Commission has revealed to The Commentator that the website cost £46,483 to design and develop and a further £7,369 for "support and maintenance from our incumbent web agency" - a total cost of £53,852.
The firm also lists as its clients The Department of Health, the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency and the National Health Service.
The expenditure on such projects has been described as "while not extortionate on it's own, [it is] indicative of wider waste". A public sector procurement specialist told The Commentator that "spending what is effectively two average UK salaries on cats and ice cream scoops is hardly the best use of public funds, nor will it likely encourage anyone to register to vote. It's a gimmick, and a poor one at that."
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