Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Stamp out Voting Fraud!

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 24th November, 2008

Basic CMYK  When the British Electoral Commissioner, Richard Mawrey QC, convicted a group of political activists of commiting electoral fraud in Birmingham shortly before the 2005 general election, he declared that the level of electoral fraud in the UK was enough to ‘disgrace a banana republic’. But as the all-party organisation for constitutional reform, Unlock Democracy, stated today as it launched its campaign ‘Stamp out Voting Fraud!’, the Labour government has ‘done almost nothing in the three years since’. Moreover, because of the tortoise-like nature of the British legislative process, it is now too late to bring in legislation even if Gordon Brown decides to go right up to the wire and call the election for May 2010. As Unlock Democracy has pointed out, the government did manage to bring in electoral security measures in Northern Ireland six years ago (partly to prevent the old partisan habit of ‘vote early, vote often’ involving impersonation). But it has not considered the issue important enoiugh to get itself organised to do the same in Great Britain. Of course, the whole British electoral system needs an overhaul to make it more truly representative (including the introduction of STV or some other acceptable form of PR, which already exists on the other side of the Irish Sea). But at least Gordon Brown could have got his finger out to help to prevent outright fraud in the meantime!



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