Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Your Postal Vote Frauds Tonight

Remember the postal vote fraud riots, as Labour, Lib Dem and Muslim activists scrapped in the streets of Brum over the contents of a postbox, amid allegations of widespread abuse ?

Slowly, things are happening, in Blackburn.

"A former councillor tried to rig postal voting by collecting ballot forms from voters and getting other people to fill them in in his favour.
Muhammed Hussain, 61, from Logwood Street, Blackburn, Lancashire, admitted the election fraud on Monday. He was warned he faces a prison sentence.

The ex-Labour councillor had a 685 majority in the elections for Bastwell ward on Blackburn Council in 2002."

In Birmingham Bordesley Green and Aston.

"The petitioners claim correction fluid was used to change votes marked for the PJP, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats into votes for the Labour Party.

It is claimed that the fresh crosses were made in the same handwriting and with the same blue pen.

The court also heard evidence from handwriting expert Michael Allen.

He was given 213 electoral documents to analyse as a sample of ballots cast in favour of Labour that were believed to be suspicious.

His findings suggested at least 80% of those ballots had been faked."

"The mobile phone records of a senior Labour councillor may be commandeered to check if he had any involvement in an alleged city postal vote scam.

Coun Mohammad Afzal denies being present when police were called at midnight to a deserted industrial estate before June's local elections.

Officers found hundreds of blank postal votes in the boot of a car which was driven by Aston Labour activists who claimed they were in the process of " sorting them out".

Liberal Democrats, who are fighting a High Court battle to overthrow the Aston result, have applied for a court order to obtain Coun Afzal's mobile phone records from the local authority.

Coun Afzal has signed a witness statement denying he was on the estate. He said he had been asleep in bed since 10.30pm on that night after consuming a "warm drink"."

Words fail me. Even the Observer is concerned, in the shape of the great and good Nick Cohen.

"There's an almost pathetic desire in everyone with a stake in the democratic process to make postal and internet voting work. A senior official at one very respectable organisation told me he wished I wasn't writing this piece because it would send the 'wrong message'. I'm sure he didn't mean it the way it came out. He was just desperate to get more people involved and break the contempt for politics of the post-democratic age.

It is an honourable aspiration. But the political class doesn't seem to realise that the post-democratic attempts to make voting customer-friendly are reviving the corruptions of the pre-democratic age, and forcing us to fight the battles of the Chartists all over again. "

Read the whole thing.

And what is the Government doing to prevent this happening again ? A big fat zero.

"The Government has ruled out safeguards against rigging postal votes in the general election because time has run out, it emerged yesterday, as a court was told that Labour supporters forged 1,200 votes in a single council ward last June.
One of the country’s leading election experts outlined changes that the independent Electoral Commission believes could prevent people having their votes stolen, but said Whitehall had decided that it was too late to make reforms."

I imagine they are doing something - instructing their activists to be a bit less obvious this time round. Pretty straight guys.

No comments: