Sunday, March 30, 2008

BNP fail in bid to stop postal votes

Saturday, 29 March 2008

From the Huddersfield Daily Examiner

THE British National Party has failed in its bid to stop postal voting
in Kirklees.

The BNP has three members on Kirklees Council but their supporter’s
bid to halt the postal vote at the forthcoming May elections was

The action by the BNP member was turned down at Bradford County Court.

At the hearing yesterday the application for an injunction to stop the
Returning Officer from issuing postal ballot papers was refused by the
judge, who also made the BNP pay the council’s costs.

"This was simply a gimmick by the BNP to get cheap publicity.

“Postal voting is part of electoral law that all councils follow.

“All the BNP has done is waste the time of council officers by going
through the process of addressing what was always going to be a futile
action by the perpetrators of this bogus case.

“The judge clearly considered that the application was ill-conceived
by not only rejecting the application but also in awarding the council
its costs against the BNP.

“It is an absolute waste of time to challenge statute in this

BNP group chairman Clr Roger Roberts said it was a move made by an
individual member, not a councillor.

But he added: “I would personally support the idea.

“Postal voting is fine for the disabled and the elderly but it is
very open to fraud.

“When you get 20 votes coming out of a one-bedroom flat, it is
patently wrong.”

Huddersfield Examiner


Anonymous said...

(Scouseboy)Lets hope the mainstream parties stop the BNP there and everywhere else!!!

Anonymous said...

The UK electoral system is not fit for purpose because it is too easy to create fake voter registrations.

Election commissioner Richard Mawrey QC made the comment as he described postal voting on demand as "lethal to the democratic process", and said the current system means "wholesale electoral fraud is both easy and profitable".

Mawrey was commenting as he found Tory councillor Eshaq Khan guilty of adding hundreds of fake names to the electoral register. Khan was banned from holding public office for five years and lost his Slough council seat.

Mr Mawrey, said: "There is no reason to suppose that this is an isolated incident. Roll-stuffing is childishly simple to commit and very difficult to detect. To ignore the probability that it is widespread, particularly in local elections, is a policy that even an ostrich would despise," according to the Times.

He said the only reason the fakery came to light was because of incompetence and the blatant nature of the fraud.

Extra checks on postal vote registration were included in the 2006 Electoral Administration Act, but Mawrey said the situation had in fact changed little.

The Electoral Commission supports fundamental reform of the UK's election laws, before it will even consider the possibility of innovations such as e-voting.®

Anonymous said...

Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, has been warned that postal vote fraud is widespread among Labour Party members in his Blackburn constituency.

At a public meeting in the town's cathedral, the Liberal Democrat and Conservative candidates accused the Foreign Secretary's supporters of rigging ballots to keep Labour in power.

The usually safe Labour seat, where a quarter of the constituents are Muslim, made a party list of "vulnerable" seats under threat from anti-war sentiment. As a result, campaigning among the town's seven parliamentary candidates became increasingly fevered, with rumours of "dirty tricks" and postal vote fraud growing daily.

Imtiaz Ameen, 33, the Conservative candidate, told Mr Straw at the meeting: "I cannot believe you say there is no fraud. The worst case of postal vote fraud has been carried out in your own back yard by members of your party."

Tony Melia, 44, the Liberal Democrat candidate, visited Mr Straw in his constituency home last weekend to lodge a complaint that Labour Party councillors were collecting unopened postal ballots.

He told The Daily Telegraph: "Undoubtedly postal vote fraud is happening in this election."

Postal vote applications in the constituency have risen dramatically since 2001, from 7,603 to 20,351. Fears of ballot rigging were fuelled after Muhammed Hussain, 61, a former Blackburn Labour councillor, was jailed for collecting blank ballot papers in the 2002 local elections.

Mr Straw, who is defending a majority of 9,249, said: "I accept that the [postal voting] system has to be looked at very closely. In principle it is a good idea but there is no doubt that it will have to be reviewed following revelations in Birmingham, and tragically here in Blackburn."

But he denied that fraud was widespread. He said a survey of 1,000 voters after the 2003 local elections, which were conducted entirely through postal votes, had returned "100 per cent" confirmation that no interference had occurred.

But Mr Ameen said: "If the survey said there was no fraud then it was asking in the wrong areas."

Craig Murray, the former ambassador of Uzbekistan, who stood as an independent, is writing to the Electoral Commission to tell them of widespread reports of vote rigging.

The Muslim Public Affairs Committee, a pro-democracy group, have put up a £5,000 reward for information leading to a postal vote fraud conviction.

Anonymous said...

Fears of widespread fraud in the local elections in May were raised yesterday after a judge said that the rules for postal ballots were fatally flawed.

Just weeks before more than two million people are expected to vote by post in local council and mayoral elections, Richard Mawrey, QC, said that postal voting on demand was “lethal to the democratic process”.

He said that the current system made “wholesale electoral fraud both easy and profitable” and accused politicians of failing to act after past scandals. He urged sweeping reforms to electoral law dealing with corruption.

His comments came as he found a Conservative councillor guilty of vote rigging by using postal ballots in the names of hundreds of “ghost voters” fraudulently added to the electoral register. Eshaq Khan was stripped of his council seat in Slough, Berkshire, and banned from holding office for five years after being found guilty of corrupt practices.

Related Links
Army of ghost voters who won an election
Election Fraud: State of denial allowed voting cheats to prosper
The case highlighted how new checks designed to stamp out the misuse of postal ballots were by-passed by Khan’s team within a year of their introduction, enabling him to gain a marginal seat from Labour last year.

Mr Mawrey, in his judgment on the Slough case, concluded: “There is no reason to suppose that this is an isolated incident. Roll-stuffing [packing the electoral roll with fictitious voters] is childishly simple to commit and very difficult to detect. To ignore the probability that it is widespread, particularly in local elections, is a policy that even an ostrich would despise.”

The case is an embarrassment to David Cameron as the most serious case of vote rigging involving a Conservative candidate. But Mr Mawrey criticised all Britain’s main political parties for failing to introduce adequate checks after widespread electoral abuse involving postal ballots was discovered during local elections at Birmingham in 2004.

Election chiefs last night stepped up their demands for tougher laws to clamp down on voting fraud after the Slough judgment.

The Electoral Commission urged the Government to heed its calls to introduce individual registration for all voters similar to the scheme in Northern Ireland for the past few years.

“We have been saying since 2003 that the current system of voter registration in Great Britain is not sufficiently secure and that a system of individual voter registration is needed to provide a secure foundation for both registration and postal voting,” a spokesman for the commission said yesterday.

The chief safeguard included in the Electoral Registration Act 2006 was to require people voting by post to sign a form and write their date of birth when returning their ballot paper, to be checked against the signature on their original request.

But the judge attacked the move as inadequate, saying council staff were untrained to match signatures and computers were unreliable, meaning bogus ballots still slipped through and some genuine votes were rejected.

Under individual registration all members of a household eligible to vote have to provide two sets of identification such as a signature and date of birth at the time they sign on to the electoral register. These have to match identifiers for both postal votes and those put in ballot boxes.

The Electoral Commission has sent 55,000 guides to “bobbies on the beat” giving the police advice on how to detect and prevent fraud. A fuller guide is being distributed to police chiefs and election officers next week.

Secret ballot

1872 Right to vote by secret ballot is introduced
2000 Postal voting on demand introduced with pilots in 32 areas
2003 More pilots to test alternative voting methods
2004 All-postal ballots in four regions for European elections, despite opposition from the Election Commission. The Times exposes widespread fraud
August 2004 Commission says all postal voting should not go ahead
April 2005 Richard Mawrey, QC, said electoral fraud in Birmingham would “disgrace a banana republic”
October 2005 Electoral Adminstration Bill with new safeguards introduced
May 2007 First elections using

Anonymous said...

The number of investigations into postal vote fraud in the UK has reached 25 in 19 constituencies. In the city of Bradford alone, 252 allegations of fraud have been made.

Anonymous said...

SOME 20,000 missing votes became the focus of Britain’s biggest election count early today. Early indications showed that a third of postal votes issued for the 11 constituencies in Birmingham had not been returned.
Explanations include late delivery, fraudsters afraid of filling them in because of extra police attention, or low turnout. However, postal voting typically results in high turnouts of up to 80 per cent because voters are seen as more motivated.

Birmingham is the scene of several marginals where the parties have used mass postal voting to try to capture or hold seats. The total number of postal votes issued in the city was 59,000 compared with 16,000 at the last election.

But Lin Homer the returning officer disclosed last night that only 37,000-43,000 arrived. She said: “It might be that people have thought again about postal voting because of the uncertainty. Some of it could have been because of the work we have been doing. We have conducted 700 door-to-door interviews and forensically examined data.”

Another investigation into missing postal votes was mounted yesterday as tens of thousands of voters decided to hand in their postal ballot papers at polling stations.

Council officials in Scotland were granted a court order after evidence that about a dozen postal votes had gone missing in Aberdeen South, a key marginal seat The deputy returning officer was granted a court order to begin an inquiry to see if there had been any irregularities. The latest investigation comes after 15 separate police inquiries into electoral fraud allegations, including two arrests by West Yorkshire Police.

Returning officers reported earlier that between 50 and 70 per cent of the estimated 6.5 million postal-vote applications had been returned early yesterday morning. But hundreds of thousands of postal votes across the country were still turning up in the second post yesterday and more were expected after a final Royal Mail sweep of its centres until 9.30pm last night.

Many election officers were predicting average postal vote turnout to be at least 70 per cent, with higher percentages in marginal seats.

One returning officer in Norwich reported that he had received 2,500 postal votes in two mail deliveries yesterday but was expecting a further thousand to be handed in.

“We have heard that a number of people are taking their postal votes to polling stations because they have concerns that they are going to be intercepted and fraudulently altered if they take them to the Royal Mail,” an Electoral Reform Society spokesman said.

The society also said that many people had expressed concerns about secrecy after handing in their ballots. He said that some people had complained that when handing in ballots in Hackney, East London, the papers had been “piled up on a table and could easily be bundled away”. A spokeswoman for Hackney said that all postal ballot envelopes handed in would be put into special bags before being taken to council offices.

Signs of legal challenges emerged yesterday when a candidate in St Albans, Hertforshire, made an official complaint of electoral irregularities in her marginal seat. Anne Main, the Tory candidate who is defending a 4,466 majority, is said to have asked the police to investigate alleged fraud.

Hundreds of voters in two London constituencies were told that they could not vote because of clerical errors. The mistakes, affecting the London borough of Hounslow, were found too late to be corrected.

Anonymous said...

Someone has been busy copying stories!

interestingly, the BNP dislike the post that much that here in Liverpool they refuse to hand out a proper postal address and prefer to use a PO Box. Any indication that this is because the BNP is a nasty, vicious, thuggish party that does not want to publicise its local HQ for fear of reprisals from others is, of course, a matter of opinion.

Louise Baldock said...

Incidents of PV fraud are miniscule in Liverpool, in fact I think I am right in saying that our Elections Officer told me that they have never had a case here.

Anonymous said...

He's is not telling the truth Louise, it happened in numerous wards across the city in the all out elections in 2004!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the nasty cowardly vicious thuggish hard-left uaf etc would do nasty cowardly vicious thuggish things to the property if they had a postal address for the BNP. Thats what they do.Thats what they are paid to do,keeps them in drugs.

Louise Baldock said...

Of course he is not telling lies. No cases were brought, none were proven. We are talking about legal cases here and there have not been any.

It is no good you claiming that lots went on unless you have found proof and taken it to the police.

And you have not, and you did not.

There have been no postal vote frauds in Liverpool however much you people might wish to point the finger at others.

Anonymous said... . IT JUST DON'T HAPPEN ANYWHERE.