When are the lax postal vote rules going to be sorted?

When are the lax postal vote rules going to be sorted?

Did Labour’s changes make cheating much easier?

There’s a piece in my local Sunday paper today which makes my blood boil – a batch of 100 votes going missing in a council ward where about a third electors have applied to vote in this way.

I’m sure this story is being repeated in many places:-

“..A conservative council election candidate has claimed more than 100 postal votes, destined for homes in two streets just yards away from a polling station, have gone missing amid fears that ‘underhand tactics’ may be at play.

The mailed ballot papers were intended for residents in Coventry Road and Cromwell Road in Queens Park, Bedford, but Parvez Akhtar, a candidate for the area, says that 108 papers for the vote in the Mayoral, ward and Alternative Vote referendum elections have vanished.

Mr Akhtar has also raised concerns that a total of 1,900 people out of a ward of just 6,000 have applied to vote via post…”

When council elections were last fought the turnout in the ward was in excess of 60%. Elsewhere in the borough it averaged about 38%.

All this is down to the huge relaxation in the postal voting rules introduced by the Blair government. It used to be that you had to have a reason why you should vote in this way – now anybody can apply.

This needs to be reversed as soon as possible if we are to have confidence in our electoral system.

Mike Smithson

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