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Learning English - Words in the News
10 December, 2008 - Published 15:38 GMT
Sark ends feudal rule
Chief Pleas, Sark's Parliament
Chief Pleas, Sark's Parliament

People of one of the Channel Islands, Sark, are voting today for their first ever democratic government. The election ends nearly 450 years of feudal rule. The island's constitution was changed to comply with European human rights legislation. Jon Kay reports:

Listen to the story

At precisely ten o'clock the doors to Sark's village hall opened. Waiting in line, a handful of islanders keen to cast their votes before the morning ferry departed.

The hall snooker room has been converted into the only polling station with specially constructed plywood booths where voters can fill in the lengthy ballot paper in secret.

There are fifty-six candidates seeking office in all - that's one in eight of the islands adult population. There'll be twenty-eight seats in the new parliament and the result should be declared here just after ten o'clock tonight.

Jon Kay, BBC News, Sark

Listen to the words

village hall
the venue in a village which is a centre for official and social events

in line
queuing one after another

a handful
here, a small group

to cast their votes
to take part in the election, to vote for their chosen candidates

polling station
a place where people go to vote in an election

plywood booths
small enclosed areas in a polling station where you can vote in private; in this case they were made of several thin layers of wood stuck together

ballot paper
a piece of paper on which you write or mark your vote

seeking office
here, competing to become members of parliament

here, members

announced, made public

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