Judge backs East Lancashire MP on postal voting fraud

MP Andrew Stephenson

MP Andrew Stephenson

First published in East Lancashire

A JUDGE has supported East Lancashire MP Andrew Stephenson’s call for postal voting to be drastically scaled back.

The Pendle Tory has repeatedly warned the process is open to fraud.

The Electoral Commission has expressed concern about abuse in 16 areas including Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, Burnley, and Pendle.

In a documentary broadcast last night, Judge Richard Mawrey said he had not the system is wide open to fraud.

In May 2012, Mr Stephenson used a Parliamentary debate to accuse members of the Asian community of falsifying postal votes.

That year, Lancashire Police referred a file on ‘proxy voting’ in Accrington’s Barnfield ward to the Crown Prosecution Service, while investigations in two other wards in Hyndburn, and two in Blackburn with Darwen, found no evidence of wrong-doing.

Electoral Commission chair Jenny Watson said it would not be ‘proportionate’ to end postal voting altogether.

The government has no plans to abolish the current system extended in 2001 so anyone on the electoral roll can apply for a postal ballot.

BBC Radio’s File on 4 last night revealed allegations that political activists are pressuring families into voting for their candidate, or illegally taking ballot papers away to fill them in themselves.

Mr Stephenson said in the broadcast: “There is real fraud going on.

“The government should really look at this issue and really look at going back to only allowing postal votes to people who have a genuine need.

“Everybody else should turn up at the polling station, like they always used to have to, in order to cast their vote.”

Judge Mawrey, who tries corruption cases, agreed: “Postal voting on demand, however many safeguards you build into it, is wide open to fraud...”

Woking returning officer Ray Morgan said: “I don't think any election that I've personally officiated over since 2006 has been totally fair and honest.”

Pendle peer Tony Greaves said: “Postal voting cannot be secure and secret and should be restricted to those who genuinely cannot turn up at a polling station.”

Comments (5)

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3:14pm Wed 12 Mar 14

leyton says...

we all know the bangli's routinely vote for dead people and people in pakistan etc but the authorities don't like making waves.I know of one house 2 bedrooms yet on the voting register there are 7 people registered to vote and only 5 people live there and 2 are kids. .
we all know the bangli's routinely vote for dead people and people in pakistan etc but the authorities don't like making waves.I know of one house 2 bedrooms yet on the voting register there are 7 people registered to vote and only 5 people live there and 2 are kids. . leyton
  • Score: 6

3:52pm Wed 12 Mar 14

andy1 says...

Not often I agree with the Tories but spot on. Before I moved over seas (I dont vote now in the UK) the GE of 2005 and Burnley was a postal vote only. Im sure that some people who sent the votes back and a lot did where not who they claimed. Stupid idea.
Not often I agree with the Tories but spot on. Before I moved over seas (I dont vote now in the UK) the GE of 2005 and Burnley was a postal vote only. Im sure that some people who sent the votes back and a lot did where not who they claimed. Stupid idea. andy1
  • Score: 1

6:00pm Wed 12 Mar 14

mavrick says...

There needs to be a complete overhaul of the election system. It is time people realised that politics matters. politics is life whether we like it or not. We all should take part and be interested.
There needs to be a complete overhaul of the election system. It is time people realised that politics matters. politics is life whether we like it or not. We all should take part and be interested. mavrick
  • Score: 4

6:11pm Wed 12 Mar 14

woolywords says...

You can't beat a bit of election rigging, to get peoples backs up. Reminds me of how, if you owned a shop, you got one vote and if you owned your own home, you got another. This isn't something that occurred on the mainland but kept a certain few, in charge of Northern Ireland, for years.

It used to be that, if you were in the forces, you could get a postal vote or nominate a proxy but now we have such electoral abuse in this area, where we making a really bad name for ourselves, the system wants scrapping or completely overhauling. Perhaps we should start using an aniline dye, to mark the index fingers of those whom have voted, in order to stop them driving around the town, visiting various polling stations as other people.
For a culture that doesn't believe in democracy, you sure as Hell love rigging the ballot boxes, so that some relative of your tribal leader, gets voted in.
It's nearly bad enough for me to want to roll out the old banners..
Vote early, and vote often!
End womens suffrage!
You can't beat a bit of election rigging, to get peoples backs up. Reminds me of how, if you owned a shop, you got one vote and if you owned your own home, you got another. This isn't something that occurred on the mainland but kept a certain few, in charge of Northern Ireland, for years. It used to be that, if you were in the forces, you could get a postal vote or nominate a proxy but now we have such electoral abuse in this area, where we making a really bad name for ourselves, the system wants scrapping or completely overhauling. Perhaps we should start using an aniline dye, to mark the index fingers of those whom have voted, in order to stop them driving around the town, visiting various polling stations as other people. For a culture that doesn't believe in democracy, you sure as Hell love rigging the ballot boxes, so that some relative of your tribal leader, gets voted in. It's nearly bad enough for me to want to roll out the old banners.. Vote early, and vote often! End womens suffrage! woolywords
  • Score: 2

8:24pm Wed 12 Mar 14

council intern says...

' elected ' Blackburn Asian councillors will have something to say about this?
no doubt?
' elected ' Blackburn Asian councillors will have something to say about this? no doubt? council intern
  • Score: 0

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