*ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER FOUND POSTAL VOTES STOLEN TO BE CHANGED OR FILLED OUT
*IN ONE BIRMINGHAM CASE, HALF THE VOTES CAST FOR WINNING CANDIDATE WERE FAKE
*UP TO 19 PEOPLE REGISTERED TO VOTE FOR ONE HOUSE IN ANOTHER SCAM
From The Telegraph:
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.
He said: “By the 21st century, a combination of the extremely lax rules relating to the registration of electors and the introduction of postal voting on demand made personation once again viable.
“The ease of postal vote fraud and the difficulty of policing it led to such a great upsurge in personation that, in the Birmingham case, the number of false votes was virtually half of all votes recorded as having been cast for the winning candidates.”
In 2005 Mr Mawrey found six Labour councillors in Birmingham guilty of “massive, systematic and organised” postal voting fraud to win two wards during local elections.
He said that the scale of fraud would disgrace a “banana republic”, and heard evidence that thousands of postal votes had been stolen to be changed or filled in by Labour supporters.
In 2009 a former Tory candidate and five others were jailed for using “ghost” voters to win a local council ballot.
Eshaq Khan and his co-defendants used fake votes to oust long-standing Labour councillor Lydia Simmons from her seat on Slough Borough Council.
The fraudulent plot was uncovered when ousted Labour councillor and former mayor Miss Simmons and her Labour team questioned the result.
They pointed out that at a number of houses up to 19 names – all Asian – had registered in the run-up to the election at the same address, then opted to vote by post.