Socialist Worker

Electoral fraud: judge slams postal ballot rules

Issue No. 1946

A high Court judge has sharply criticised the government’s postal voting system as being wide open to electoral fraud and manipulation.

“There are no systems to deal realistically with fraud and there never have been. Until there are, fraud will continue unabated,” said Richard Mawrey QC on Monday this week.

Mawrey’s comments came as he found six Labour Party councillors responsible for corrupt and illegal practices during last June’s council elections in Birmingham.

A record number of people are expected to cast postal votes in the May general election. In the Bethnal Green & Bow constituency, where George Galloway is standing, up to a third of the votes may be cast by post.

The government refuses to change its postal ballot rules, claiming that the systems in place to deal with electoral fraud are “clearly working”.

Mawrey dismissed this claim. “Anybody who has sat through the case I have just tried and listened to evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic would find this statement surprising,” he said.

Respect MP George Galloway said, “Postal balloting should be limited to the infirm or those that are abroad at the time of the election, not given as a licence for Labour Party crooks to sabotage the will of the people.”

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Sat 9 Apr 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1946
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