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Five News exposes postal vote-rigging

Five News's Press Release

A Five News investigation has exposed how easy it is to rig the postal
voting system.

As six million people prepare to vote by post, Five News successfully
obtained multiple votes in two constituencies, highlighting just how open
to abuse the system is.

This is the first time the ease of MULTIPLE fraud has been exposed in the
postal voting system.

The broadcaster downloaded and completed Internet application forms for
postal voting from the Electoral Commission's website. No form of id was
submitted, nor did Five News get permission from the voters.

Five News identified a number of obviously empty or derelict properties
and then checked the Electoral Roll to find the identity of those registered
voters. In every case, voters were still shown as being registered at the
properties, even though they clearly no longer lived there.

Internet application forms for postal voting were then completed and
submitted with a request to send the ballot papers to a different address.

In Birmingham (Edgbaston constituency) Five News applied for and received
multiple ballot papers.

It also applied for four ballot papers in the Warley constituency
(Sandwell Council). Within days it received all four voting forms.

Five News will run today at 11.30am with a full report at 5.30pm.


Note to editors

The names of electors have been submitted to the Electoral Commission so
no genuine votes will be lost, along with a letter from Five News explaining
how it exploited the inherent weaknesses in the present postal voting
system.

The investigation took place from 23 April, when the first forms were
submitted through to 28 April when the first ballot papers arrived.

Five News' investigation follows comments made by senior judge Richard
Mawrey QC, who attacked the postal voting system in early April,
condemningthe government for complacency in the face of fraud which would disgrace a
"banana republic". Mr Mawrey, who was presiding over a special election
court in Birmingham, warned that there were no realistic systems in place
to detect or prevent postal voting fraud at the general election.
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As far as I can tell they had 6 votes diverted. I would not say this is the first time the ease of such fraud had been demonstrated.

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