Tag Archives: postal

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Tories could undermine themselves with ‘voter ID’ plan that isn’t entirely corrupt

 Bad news: the Conservatives are planning another attempt to introduce ‘voter ID’ to elections. Historically, their attempts have been corrupt.

Good news: they may have shot themselves in the foot with a plan that has good elements that may be separated from the vote-rigging parts by Parliament.

Let’s look at the historic aspect of this:

The most recent Tory attempts to address voter fraud have been attempts to force people to provide photo-identification at polling stations – prompting criticism that they were trying to obstruct supporters of Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats, who don’t normally carry such identification, from voting. This has been borne out to a large degree by the results of pilot projects in certain constituencies.

They did not address fraudulent postal votes in any way. This also led to criticism that the Tories had ignored the only voting method that has produced a significant volume of electoral fraud in recent years – because any such fraud is likely to boost their own electoral score.

Boris Johnson’s new ‘voter ID’ plan seems to tackle both issues – with an attempt to address postal vote fraud that might be worthwhile, alongside the demand for photographic identification at the polling station. It also addresses the complaint of voter disenfranchisement by proposing that local councils issue free photographic ID to anybody who needs it, at a cost of up to £20 million at every election.

The latter proposal is entirely pointless. There is no fraud at polling stations worth mentioning. The record shows only one conviction for voter impersonation at the last election.

Good news: Parliament could separate the pointless and expensive demand to show photo ID at the polling station from the worthwhile attempt to address fraud in postal votes, leaving us with a decent piece of legislation that does not corruptly improve the Tories’ chance at a general election.

But that is supposing that Boris Johnson and his Conservative government intends anything in the Queen’s Speech next week to actually become law – and that is a major stretch of credibility.

Shall we put a pin in this and see what happens?

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Is this ‘signature check’ an attempt to cut the number of disabled people who can vote?

What do Vox Political readers think of this comment received on This Site’s Facebook page?

“We had a letter from the council this week for my wife to re-register for postal voting, with the reason being they need to confirm her signature regularly.

“Can we say something about this?

“We think they are trying to reduce the amount of disabled people allowed to vote. They are saying your signature may change over time.”

Has anyone else received this kind of contact from their council? If so, what happened and what is your impression?


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Labour and Green candidates left off postal ballot papers

Postal ballot papers for Hull East. Notice that no Labour or Green candidates are listed.

Postal ballot papers for Hull East. Notice that no Labour or Green candidates are listed.

High-profile Labour MP Karl Turner’s name has been omitted from 480 postal ballot papers in his Hull East constituency due to what the local council is calling an “inadvertent mistake”.

Yeah, right.

If that is the case, why were Mr Turner and Green candidate Sarah Walpole only missed off the papers for people who registered to vote after April 1? Doesn’t that imply that somebody removed their names deliberately?

Hull City Council had better check every single ballot paper it is preparing for election day, to prevent any further “inadvertent mistake”. Mr Turner was elected with a majority of more than 8,000, so the potential loss of 480 votes was unlikely to affect him. The loss of who-knows-how-many votes on the day might be a different matter!

Mr Turner told the BBC the mistake was “concerning” because people were “being denied the right to vote and take part in the democratic process”.

He added: “I have had calls from people in East Hull who are going on holiday this week and are angry that they are unable to vote. I have asked Hull City Council to urgently look into the matter and review their processes surrounding sending out ballot papers.”

The campaign is moving from desperation into criminality now, it seems. This Writer does not believe for one moment that those ballot papers were altered by “mistake”.

Expect further incidents like that in the last days of the campaign – and we can be sure plenty of last-minute voters will be locked out of their polling stations again, on the stroke of 10pm, just like last time. This gives Conservative candidates an edge over others because Tory voters are whipped into voting as early as possible.

In other news, it seems more than 70,000 ballot papers destined for Hastings and Rye, in East Sussex, were stolen along with the van that was transporting them there. Hastings Borough Council says it is putting measures in place to ensure that none of the stolen papers can be used, and we are being asked to believe that the loss of the papers was incidental to the theft of the van.

Yeah, right. But opportunism is a wonderful thing. Let’s see what happens there.

Both these events could lead to electoral fraud, which is a crime. Vox Political readers are urged to be alert for any possible “inadvertent mistake” in your own constituency and report anything suspicious to the Returning Officer (usually your local council’s chief executive) and to the police.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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