Postal voting fraud will threaten May elections

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A TOP Judge has warned the May elections could fall victim to widespread fraud because of the “fatally flawed” system of postal ballots.

Richard Mawrey, QC, said postal voting was “lethal to the democratic process”.

His comments came as he found Conservative councillor Eshaq Khan guilty of vote rigging after he used hundreds of postal ballots to gain a council seat in Slough last year.

It is the second high profile postal vote fraud case Mr Mawrey has been part of. In 2005 he found six Labour councillors in Birmingham guilty of “evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic”.

Mr Khan was stripped of his seat, expelled from the Conservative Party and banned from holding office for five years after he was found guilty by a special High Court election court.

He was found to have entered hundreds of false names to the electoral register in the weeks leading up to the elections last May.

He then applied for postal votes for these “ghost voters” and used the ballots to vote for himself.

Mr Khan and his electoral team managed to bypass new checks introduced last year in a bid to try and stamp out postal voting fraud.

Mr Mawrey said the case was not an “isolated incident” and “to ignore the probability that it is widespread, particularly in local elections, is a policy that even an ostrich would despise.”

Mr Mawrey also criticised the main parties for failing to introduce adequate checks and dismissed idea’s to introduce individual registration for all voters which would require people voting by post to sign a form and write their date of birth when returning the forms which would then be checked against the signature on their original request.

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