On the launch of the Brexit Get together’s “contract with the British folks”, chief Nigel Farage made a severe cost concerning the integrity of British democracy.
“I am astonished that no person appears to wish to reform the postal voting system, one thing that has been completely abused because it was opened up practically 20 years in the past,” Mr Farage advised an viewers of activists.
“We have seen fraud, intimidation, a number of courtroom circumstances, folks going to jail and but it appears to swimsuit the 2 events to maintain the postal voting system as it’s.”
Writing within the Telegraph, Mr Farage additionally referred to as abuse of the power to request a postal vote on demand “a serious scandal”. Is he appropriate?
Police knowledge on the allegations of electoral fraud yearly since 2010 had been collected and analysed by the Electoral Fee in 2017.
They confirmed that although tens of thousands and thousands of individuals vote, the variety of allegations is usually within the low a whole bunch.
The variety of precise convictions is even decrease.
Take the final basic election in 2017, when police forces recorded 336 circumstances of alleged electoral fraud.
Solely eight folks had been cautioned, and there was only one conviction – for somebody voting as one other individual at a polling station
Which means there have been no convictions for postal voting, the problem that Nigel Farage is most involved about.
Since 1998, Electoral Fee information present there have been solely 9 convictions for postal vote fraud, a price of lower than one each two years.
Certainly, in 2017, there have been solely 22 allegations of postal fraud, even if 8.four million votes had been solid this fashion, with none led to convictions.
After all, it is attainable circumstances simply aren’t being reported.
The Electoral Fee admitted that police knowledge “will not be a whole document of all exercise which might contain electoral fraud offences”.
Observers have warned that postal voting fraud could also be a danger, given the relative openness of the UK system.
The latest authorities assessment into electoral safety discovered that postal voting was “thought-about by some to be the UK’s primary electoral vulnerability and to supply the ‘greatest’ alternative for electoral fraud.”
There have additionally been sporadic high-profile circumstances.
In 2005, six Labour councillors had been discovered responsible of electoral fraud throughout council elections in two Birmingham wards.
In 2015, Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman was faraway from workplace after he was discovered responsible of electoral fraud by an electoral courtroom.
But on many events when allegations floor – like in June’s Peterborough by-election, when Cambridgeshire officers investigated 5 allegations of electoral fraud – the police discover no proof value pursuing.
The very best accessible proof reveals that electoral fraud is just not a hazard to British democracy.
Because of this, the federal government assessment on election safety concluded that abolishing postal voting on demand, as Mr Farage has proposed, “can be a disproportionate step”, saying that “strengthening the system is what’s required”.
Marketing campaign Examine scrutinises election claims made by political events, analyzing if they’re true or false, and the context. Sky Information is working with Full Reality – the main unbiased fact-checking charity.
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