John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Saturday, January 29, 2005
  Electoral Fraud - The Blair Government's Ace of Trumps
The Guardian reports on part of the story about Electoral Fraud.

Electoral Fraud has gone on for many years and there are voters you can find who were happy to give parties their voting card with the assumption that the party will get an informal proxy (aka Personation, which is a criminal offence) for them.

The big stress in Northern Ireland arose when one party started voting for the other parties' voters.

Meanwhile through a combination of incompetence and knowing creation of political advantage the massive increase of postal voting has occurred.

This in Birmingham (and many other large cities) has turned electoral fraud into a mass production industry. In one ward (Aston) I estimate between 1,000 and 2,000 ballot papers have some fraudulent element to them. It is, however, hard to prove fraud. We have two election courts being prepared for in Birmingham.

We may only be able to prove that something like 500 ballot papers were cast fraudulently in Aston (that's 2000 votes, 1,500 in the local elections and 500 in the European Election).

I am aware, however, that in my own ward South Yardley something like 400 votes were stolen from the voters.

I set up a website about election fraud some time ago and raised a judicial review into the situation about 2 years ago. Things have, however, in the mean time got substantially worse.

I would not be entirely surprised if there was an early general election with the result that Labour get the General Election out of the way before the verdict of the Election Courts. However, we are now getting quite close to the time for them to call it so probably the courts will reach their judgement before the general election.

We do then really have to think about having a general election when the elections are being defrauded in some wards to the extent of 25-50% of the votes cast.

My understanding is that the price of a blank ballot paper last year in Birmingham was around £16. I believe £3 was the price of a signed application. There were, therefore, paid canvassers going round getting the applications.

We do have a council investigation going on into electoral fraud, but it has been suspended whilst the Election Courts proceed.

When the court proceedings start I will post more details here. Some things need to remain confidential at the moment.
 
Comments:
I don't want to piss on your chips here John, to use a quaint old black country saying, nor would I in any way condone election fraud. But if we assumed you were correct and 500 ballot papers in Aston were fraudulent, and they all voted for Labour, (pretty big assumptions that you are correct) I'm afraid you would still have three Labour councillors. Also, as the European election papers were separate ballot papers, it does not follow that 500 ballot papers were all European ones.... and if they were, they couldn't be council ballot papers. As for Yardley the Labour majority was nearer 4,000 than 400 as I recall. Not, as I say, that fraud should be countenanced, but I tend to wait for the verdict of a court before pronouncing guilt (unlike you and our Home Secretary who seem to want to dispense with the legal formalities).
 
The point about election law is if there is proven to be a lot of organised fraud (say over 100 ballot papers) then that is a case to have a re-election.

If it is proven that candidates or those acting on behalf of candidates have been involved (and those candidates won) that is also a case to have a re-election.

We may only prove say 500 ballot papers.

I accept your point about proof. However, I have been much closer to this issue than most. I wrote the original election petition even though we now have a barrister on the case as well as Ayoub Khan administering it.

My claim is a figure between 1K and 2K in Aston (and more in Bordesley, but not just Labour).
 
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