*ONE IN FIVE OR FOUR OF EVERY VOTE CAST COULD BE A POSTAL VOTE
*POSTAL VOTES OPEN TO MASSIVE FRAUD WARNS ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER
As many as one in five or even one in four votes cast in the Brexit referendum could be postal votes, it has emerged.
The huge number of postal votes will fuels fears of election malpractice after the electoral commissioner warned in 2015 that fraud using postal votes was easy.
Lax rules enabled fraudulent applications to register and to vote by post and proxy.
“Postal voting fraud has become “easy” because of “extremely lax rules”, the electoral commissioner has said amid concerns that the practice is widespread.
Richard Mawrey found that people working for Lutfur Rahman, the disgraced former mayor of Tower Hamlets, were guilty of personation – an electoral offence whereby a vote is cast in the name of someone else.
In his judgment the former mayor, Mr Mawrey raised concerns that the fraud is increasingly commonplace.”
In fact in Birmingham in 2005, the number of false votes was virtually half of all votes recorded as having been cast for the winning candidates.
A record electorate of 46,499,537, according to provisional figures published on Tuesday by the Electoral Commission, are set to vote in the Brexit. And about eight or nine million of those votes or even more could be postal votes on current trends.
Postal votes could end up making one in five or even four of the total vote.
Almost 7.6 million postal votes were issued for the General Election in 2015 or 16.4% of the entire electorate, according to a University of Plymouth study.
A staggering uniform 85.8% of postal ballot were returned from all parts of the UK, 22% more than those electors required to vote ‘in person’ at 63.2%.
As a result the number of postal votes at the count was one in five or 20% of the total.
In addition, almost 150,000 electors (0.3% of the total) appointed proxies. The number of emergency proxy votes increased from fewer than 1,000 in 2010 to nearly 9,000 following a relaxation of the rules regarding eligibility.
About three fifths of one percent of electors with a postal vote were granted a waiver to use their date of birth as their sole identifier.