Is the EU referendum ballot paper as rigged as one of Hitler's?

It’s “twice as bad” according to an “In” campaigner

The EU referendum ballot paper is more rigged than one that showed 99.7% support for Hitler in 1938, according to an “In” campaigner.

In a blog post on the UK branch of the European People’s Party, Dirk Hazell, chairman of the EPP’s British Committee, called for the resignation of electoral commissioners who produced the voting slip.

EU ballot paper

Hitler ballot paper

The problem, according to Hazell, is the layout of the slip, which he argues draws the eye to the “Leave” option and could influence undecided people.

He explains that, due to “horizontal bias” the word “Leave” is closer to the centre of the page both times it occurs, meaning it’s more eye-catching. This is similar to the way the Nazis laid out their voting slips in 1938, he argues.

Calling for a new ballot paper, he says: “Focussing on fact rather than motive, this post notes some visual similarities with Hitler’s Anschluss ballot paper.

“The Electoral Commission has produced a complex ballot paper with strong overall visual and also verbal bias.”

There were a number of other issues, which Hazell outlined in another blog post named “How to rig an #eureferendum: Masterclass on ballot bias”.

EU ballot paper

However, the EPP distanced itself from the comparison, according to EuroActiv. Spokesman Siegfried Muresan said: “The EPP believes this is an unacceptable comparison given the UK is a fully-fledged democracy.

“The EPP will not interfere in the UK referendum. It is completely up to the people of the UK to make their choice and we trust that the referendum […] will fully comply with the highest democratic standards.”

The Electoral Commission said: “We made clear recommendations about the question that should appear on the ballot paper for the EU referendum, which was based on the now well-established approach we have used at other recent referendums and includes research conducted with voters.

“We welcome the fact that the UK Parliament accepted our recommendation.”

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