Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Voting fraud

There is serious concern that some of Thursday's election results could be affected by voting fraud. Police are investigat-ing over 50 complaints of irregularities including many suspicious postal votes.

In two highly marginal East London seats, thousands of requests for postal votes arrived too late to check if they are genuine or not.

In some cases, amazingly high numbers of voters are supposedly living in tiny flats only suitable for a small family. An Independent journalist looking into the fraud claims was viciously beaten up by local teenagers in Bow, East London. Police have questioned three Labour candidates about the claims.

There were numerous fraud inquiries in the previous general election, some of which led to convictions.

Postal votes are especially vulnerable to abuse as it's difficult to check both the voter's identity and the validity of the vote cast.

There have been many instances of postal votes being sent via political parties which can register a phoney vote for their own party. There are also cases of confused elderly people being tricked into voting for a party they don't support.

The whole postal vote system needs a thorough overhaul to prevent wholesale deception, particularly when the sudden popularity of the Liberal Democrats means that in this election many more seats are likely to change hands.

I predict a big increase in fraud investigations after the election, as candidates up and down the country cheated of victory query the results and suspect something fishy. A once highly-respected voting system is unfortunately being corrupted and not enough is being done to prevent the corruption.

And today's poser: What are rumbledethumps? (a) a small Australian shrub (b) a poor-sighted American rodent (c) a Scottish delicacy


  1. Nick, we got democracy, socialism, the English language and many other great things from Britain. We in turn have exported, curry, tikka masala, some Indian words and now electoral fraud. Welcome to the world of reverse colonisation.

  2. Ramana - So electoral fraud is already commonplace in India? It's certainly commonplace in many other countries and I hope the rot can be stopped here before it gets too serious.

  3. It is appalling that in this digital age we can't circumvent the fraudsters, isn't it?
    It truly makes one wonder if the government isn't complicit.

  4. www - It's certainly surprising the procedures for registering a postal vote are so lax. I doubt if the government are complicit, just showing their usual incompetence....

  5. It's frustrating. Especially as Britain ( and the US) lead the charge in seeing fraud in elections in Iraq and Afghanistan. People in glass houses ...

  6. Rumbledethumps - easy. Scottish delicacy. Just not served chez Macy.

    Electoral fraud? Easy. Just don't provide them witha voting paper unless applicant can show themselves to be in the armed forces or the recipient of mobility allowance.

    I am possibly a genius..

  7. At least they seem to be aware that it's happening. Perhaps the postal vote counting will be a little slower and more thorough this time round. Perhaps certified ID for postal voters to be attached to their ballot? All I can say is Rumbledethumps are not Australian! Although we're known to rumble and thump!

  8. Niamh - Well, to be fair, electoral fraud is still pretty rare in the UK, but postal voting is seriously flawed and needs to be tightened up urgently.

    Macy - Damn, one of my Edinburgh blogmates arrived a bit too quickly! That's definitely part of the problem, postal votes can be obtained too easily by too many people. They need to be harder to get.

    Baino - I don't think it's counting that's the problem, it's verifying them when they're received. Certainly some watertight ID is needed or fraud will just escalate.