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A visit to the Elections office

One of the debates in Birmingham at the moment relates to the provision of the list of postal voters. Last year (and in other authorities this year) the elections office provided an electronic list of postal voters before the elections.

We have requested that again this year, but the returning officer is saying that the law prevents her from providing the list. I was told I could visit the elections office to see the records. I visited the elections office on Tuesday, but they did not have the records of the postal voters available.

Today I was told I could visit the elections office, but I would not get a list. I could sit by the side of someone who would operate the records computer and was not allowed to touch the computer.

My objective is to identify which votes are being sent to local addresses other than that of the voter (most of which end up being stolen in some way).

The Deputy Returning Officer said to me that he didn't think that would help with my task. I pointed out to him that I already had a list of those votes which were misdirected in June 2004 and that I could easily check the situation. I also took my camera to photograph (copy) the computer screen for evidential purposes.

Of the 64 postal vote misdirects in Aston it turns out that 54 people only had postal votes for June 2004. There, however, remain 10 that are misdirected for the General Election. There is also one vote which is a new misdirect that I found by accident. Clearly there will be more, but at least we have some people we can talk to assist with preventing vote stealing in the General Election.

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