» Monday, April 4, 2005

Postal Voting

Asked if there was any response to the Birmingham postal votes fraud judgement, the PMOS said that people would take note of the judgement and what the judge had said. However in addition, without in any way suggesting that there were not lessons to learn because there always were, but to put it in context, the Birmingham wards were 2 of just 5 disputed across the country in June 2004 when 17 million people voted in 78 European parliamentary constituencies and more than 6000 council wards. It was important to get that in perspective and at the same time study what the judge had said and learn any lessons from it. It was not being underestimated but it was right to keep it in perspective. It was also important to recognise that postal voting had increased voting participation. In response to the suggestion that nothing was going to happen, the PMOS said that we were already working with the Electoral Commission, police, political parties and returning officers to strengthen systems and raise awareness, to ensure that fraud was detected and prosecuted. There were already tough penalties: electoral fraudsters could face two years in prison and an unlimited fine, as well as disqualification from voting and standing for office. So the penalties were there as this case had proved. Asked why people should feel safer about their vote in the county elections set for May 5, the PMOS said that people were constantly learning from the process and were constantly trying to strengthen the system. However what people should not think was that there were no penalties for this. There were, and what people should not think was that this judgement would be ignored. It would not.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news


  1. I don’t believe this; we have unequivocal evidence of electoral fraud – and the PMOS is playing word games. Instead of trying to play down the significance of this, the elected guardians of our democracy should be yelling from the rooftops about how our democratic rights are being abused by the very people we have elected to safeguard them. I and many others predicted this very thing when postal voting was introduced – and of course then the government tried to downplay the potential for fraud. Now we know that the predicted fraud did and has and is taking place – and they are STILL trying to downplay the significance.

    Well here’s another prediction. In the general election there will be widespread fraud – and I predict it will be widespread enough in areas to prompt calls for a re-run of the election. Of course, if Labour wins they will dismiss such calls as sour grapes – as they tried to do in Birmingham.

    The sooner this corrupt regime is ousted, the better for democracy. Sadly, as the Opposition leader said in Zimbabwe, fraudulent votes are rarely cast in favour of the Opposition.

    Comment by PapaLazzzaru — 5 Apr 2005 on 12:36 pm | Link
  2. The lack of action on fraud potential in postal votes is doubly hypocritical because John Prescott was clearly told of the many dangers which occurred when the total postal vote system was used in the North-West at the last local elections. To say, as he did last week, that it is too late to do anything simply beggars belief.

    Do you know that postal votes are not even counted separately before being added to the heap?
    It would’nt take a mastermind to order returning officers to keep them separate.
    The arrogance and manipulation of this regime is appalling, and unfortunately the alternative is just as bad.(Now in my 60’s, I lived the last 18 years of Conservative government…when it comes to arrogance, you ain’t seen nothing yet!)
    I have actually decided to cast my vote, because too many decent working people from the 18th to mid 20th Centuries gave up their freedom and sometimes their lives to get me that vote. I am however under no illusions….as far as I am concerned all senior politicians of the last 25 years have utterly prostituted the sacrifices these martyrs made.

    Comment by Bruce Dawson — 18 Apr 2005 on 5:36 pm | Link
  3. Dear Sirs,
    The purpose of the ballot box is so a vote can be cast anonymously. However the idea of a postal vote requires security in which your name and address or any other means of identification will be mandatory. The possibility of government or other authorities being able to have individual information on anyones political sympathies is of course an infringement of peoples private rights in a democratic society.
    Your response to this point and how privacy will be maintained will be appreciated.

    Yours faithfully

    A C Evans.

    Comment by A C EVANS — 20 May 2005 on 11:31 pm | Link

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