Beware the Banana Republic Postal Ballot 95


Yet another election is about to be held under the UK’s dreadfully insecure postal ballot system, which an English judge who presides over electoral fraud cases has said “would disgrace a banana republic”.

In a single case, Judge Mawrey had come across postal ballot fraud being committed in 14 different ways. There have in fact been many convictions for postal ballot fraud. Some of these are of Labour councillors in Blackburn, where I personally came across a boarded up empty flat containing fifteen registered postal voters, and we chased Labour councillors from street to street as they collected bagfuls of uncompleted postal ballots. In that election, won by Jack Straw, at 37% Blackburn had the highest percentage of ballots cast by post in the UK. There have been numerous convictions for postal ballot fraud throughout the UK, but that is the tip of the iceberg and most of the time, they get away with it.

The system was introduced by Blair and I have no doubt that party advantage was in mind. There have been Tory convictions for postal ballot fraud in Birmingham, but Labour have been by far the biggest beneficiaries. To the extent that I had been puzzled why on earth the Condem coalition had not repealed this awful legislation. The answer is, of course, that they are willing to sacrifice a little ground in the fake battle between red tories and blue tories, in order to retain the postal ballot against the necessity of large scale vote rigging in the effort to keep Scotland under Westminster rule.

Party political activists know this next point to be true, but it is almost unbelievable. There is an electoral commission regulation which specifically facilitates postal ballot fraud. Postal ballots must be physically mixed in with other ballots before counting, so that it is impossible to tell if the postal ballot result differs markedly from the voting in person result. I can quite understand why they must be counted at the same time as other ballots, but physically mixed in?

The 800,000 postal ballots registered in Scotland are one major reason why we cannot be complacent about the opinion polls. This is wide open to fraud. Multiple voting or voting by non-existent “ghost” voters, or people living elsewhere, is perfectly possible at the ballot box but much more difficult and time consuming and much more open to detection.

The rationale for the abandonment of the classic secret polling booth ballot as the basic method of voting, was that postal voting would increase voter turnout. In fact, voter turnout has steadily fallen since its introduction. I predict in England – where there is no realistic prospect of change from the old trougher tory parties – it will fall again. In Scotland, where there is a vision of real change, turnout will be up. But if anybody thinks the British state is going to let Scotland move closer to independence without fighting dirty, they are extremely naïve.

In future, there should be a return to the principle that normally your vote should be cast in person at the secret ballot. To get off your arse to vote is not too much to ask for maintaining democracy. Postal votes should again be provided only to those who have medical certification that they are unable to attend the polling station, or evidence of living abroad. I favour tax certificates from a foreign country as the norm for the latter.


95 thoughts on “Beware the Banana Republic Postal Ballot

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  • Dreoilin

    O/T

    “European Parliament members demand “pressure” on Israel to free Palestinian lawmakers”

    Fifty-eight members of the European Parliament have called on the EU to put “pressure” on Israel to release Khalida Jarrar and other members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) from its prisons.

    Jarrar was today indicted by Israel’s military court while another prominent Palestinian detainee, former hunger striker Khader Adnan, has reportedly been placed in punitive solitary confinement.

    “We call for the immediate release of Jarrar and all detained Palestinian parliamentarians and an immediate and definitive halt of all measures targeting our Palestinian parliamentary colleagues, including arrests and expulsions from Jerusalem,” the European lawmakers said in a 13 April letter to the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini …

    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/european-parliament-members-demand-pressure-israel-free-palestinian-lawmakers

  • Kempe

    ” The Argyll paper does all that work for you, in a much more detailed way. ”

    Sorry, yes had time to look at in more detail now.

    I’m not sure the “full” report has even been published and I doubt it ever will. Clearly the author(s) was working towards a foregone conclusion and selected the numbers to support his case. Proof? Well whilst the number of people who left Argyll and Bute is subtracted no thought is given to the number of people who must’ve moved into the area. You don’t have to wait a year to register to vote, you can do it online in a couple of minutes (final date for registering for the GE is Monday). Likewise whilst a number of postal voters would’ve died how many signed up for postal voting to replace them? We don’t know. The same applies to those in prison, the paper counts all those from the area already in prison but some of them may already have been there for years and not eligible to apply for any kind of vote at all. What we need to know is how many were sent to prison AFTER applying for a postal vote and of course how many were released and then applied during the same period. There doesn’t seem to be any rational in using whole year figures either.

    The passage about Dementia deserves special attention.

    Dementia

    ” This is the most significant factor which would have affected people’s ability to vote, and again it would have been reflected above average on the people registered for the PB. ”

    Any proof? If there is by how much?

    ” In 2014 1,893 people in Argyll & Bute were registered as having dementia, this figure would have been added to in 2014 (full figures not available yet but are increasing slightly year on year), so if we take this figure we will again be taking a conservative figure.
    Now some of this figure we will have counted amongst the deaths we have registered so in order to ensure we do not do that, let’s reduce the total by 125 and look at a figure of 1,768. ”

    Figure of 125 apparently plucked from thin air!

    ” Again there would be more than average of the electorate in this category who are on the PB register let’s say 25%. ”

    Plucked from thin air again, oh dear.

    ” This gives us a figure of 402, now this figure does not include new additions in 2014, ”

    Ah so new additions count sometimes.

    ” so it represents all people established with dementia for over a year and we have deducted those who died, so some 80% of these people are not able to vote i.e. 362. ”

    ..but we started off with the number of people who already had dementia and if they’d had any advanced stage of the disease they wouldn’t have been able to apply for a postal vote in the first place. If they were still in the early stages they’d be quite compos mentis for the majority of the time and quite capable. Having dementia does not legally bar anyone from voting anyway.

    In short the DSF have selected numbers that support their conclusion and ignored any that don’t. They’ve also made a mash of much of the data they do use.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Kempe
    18/04/2015 6:38 pm

    Well, you can certainly use your head, Kempe. Many thanks for this. I will have to look at the report more carefully.

    You see the bit where it says that the tables are not available on Facebook? I’ve seen those tables. I saw them from a link provided on this website, so I know that a more complete report than this exists on line.

    Much appreciated.

    Kind regards,

    John

  • Ruth

    ‘Party political activists know this next point to be true, but it is almost unbelievable. There is an electoral commission regulation which specifically facilitates postal ballot fraud. Postal ballots must be physically mixed in with other ballots before counting, so that it is impossible to tell if the postal ballot result differs markedly from the voting in person result. I can quite understand why they must be counted at the same time as other ballots, but physically mixed in?’

    Undoubtedly this was built in so that the Establishment could control elections/referendums. In the Scottish referendum there were six centres – so easy for the intelligence service to gain enrty and change the postal votes. What makes it very clear that this happened was the absence of exit polls by BBC, ITV and Sky. The Establishment didn’t want exit polls to be seen to deviate from the result.

  • fred

    ” Fred? Kempe? Anon1? Please let us know your thoughts afterwards.”

    I see what you are saying and this is terrible. If the electoral system is undermined then the government is undermined. If the electoral commission, the returning officers, the officials are corrupt then the government is not legitimate. Ignore the Scottish elections of 2011 the results don’t mean a thing because the electoral system is corrupt.

    It is the same people and same system which produces the results you like as produces the results you don’t like.

  • Melanie McKellar

    I live in Belgium. When I lived in Scotland I always voted, every election be it council, Holyrood or Westminster. I have even taken part in counts…
    I have lived ‘abroad’ for less than 15 years. In Belgium I can only vote in local and EU elections not parliamentary ones. When you register to vote you have to vote, if you are on holiday you have to provide proof that you were out of the country..I know of someone who had to go to a police station in Southern Ireland to have their passport stamped as proof, not an easy task at a time when the ‘troubles’ we’re still rife.
    I still take a keen interest in my home, Scotland, as I will return, so after the referendum (which I couldn’t vote on) I decided I would vote in the GE either in person or by post.
    I have to say to register was really easy..too easy actually. At first they replied and said they couldn’t find me at the address I supplied..I told them to check again as I had always voted, I also gave my parents address as an alternative. Not long after I received a ‘certificate’ to say I was now registered. This was followed by a letter enclosing a postal application and a proxy application. In my opinion the postal voting for the referendum was dubious and severely lacking in any kind of security that gave me the confidence that MY vote would not be tampered with, I therefore looked at the Proxy vote and asked a trusted friend if they would be willing to place my vote. My only concern is a paragraph on the ‘aboutmyvote’ website

    “I’ve been made the proxy for someone. What do I need to do?

    It’s very simple to vote as someone’s proxy. You will be sent a special proxy poll card with details of where you should go to vote.

    Just tell the staff at the polling station that you are voting as a proxy and they will tell you what to do. Don’t forget to take your proxy poll card – this will make it easier for polling place staff to find the right ballot paper”

    “-THIS WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR POLLING STAFF TO FIND THE RIGHT BALLOT PAPER” ?????
    Do proxy voters get a different ballot paper?

    As you can see I have little faith in the voting system the UK has..why can they not go electronic like here in Belgium? The results are instant, accurate & compulsory…even if it can take up to a year to form a government at least you have faith in democracy!

  • Melanie McKellar

    John Spencer Davies…I also saw a full report with graphs and pictures but couldn’t find it the other day…BUT if you go to their FB page you can find them in their photos..

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Democratic-Socialist-Federation/664987453581947?hc_location=ufi

    I was particularly interested in the pie charts and tables that showed the higher postal registration the higher NO votes…

    The referendum dispute will never be resolved but anyone who cares about their vote should pay attention, now and in the future! If you vote by post and have the confidence no-one can manipulate your vote then fare enough but if you have doubts then you should vote in person or at the very least have a trusted friend vote on your behalf as a proxy!

  • S Paterson

    Post Referendum I heard that the postal votes had been sent to England for scanning (scamming?). The envelopes with the coloured postal tabs had been separated from the regular mail, put in bins and sent down south. I followed this up by contacting the recently privatised Royal Mail to no avail. I then made a number of phone calls …… many ….. being passed from one department to another. .. and yes as per usual got nowhere.

    However I eventually spoke to someone at the Renfrewshire Electoral Office. He couldn’t help re. the Royal Mail Postal vote issue. He didn’t know where the votes had come from either ….. England or Scotland …. but he then told me that ALL postal votes had been opened and counted from the 10th September on. His explanation for this was that Renfrewshire had received just short of 30,000 votes (27,000 something) and had to start counting then ….. 8 days before the Referendum! They had to do this because pre-Referendum the normal postal vote was around 3000.

    I decided to dump voting by post and phoned and told them so. I then received a postal vote. I phoned again and was told to email them. I explained that my husband and I both wanted to vote locally and was told to …. yes …. email them. I questioned if this would be allowed I.e. me emailing for both of us and was told yes! Strange don’t you think?

    My husband and I decided to send separate emails and make it clear that we didn’t want postal votes and hey ho we received postal votes (AGAIN) this morning. We now have two postal votes each. Make of all of it as you will.

    You couldn’t make it up.

  • S Paterson

    Just wanted to mention too that after the Referendum I realised that people who had a holiday home in Scotland (like half of the House of Commons and probably all members of the House of Lords and their MANY cronies) could vote in the SCOTTISH Referendum.

    Many so-called ordinary people rented a holiday home in Scotland last summer, wee holiday, and were allowed to vote if they had applied before the 2nd September.

    People living elsewhere were using their long lost Aunties address in Scotland.

    And no offence to Craig and many other English people living here but I noticed in one poll, that was quickly quashed, that 74% of English people now living here had voted NO. The figure at that time was 420,000 English people living in Scotland (most of voting age). I reckon, by just picking up on regular people speaking on the news at night, that number has now greatly multiplied. And if I were Cameron et al this would be the means of ensuring that we never get our Independence.

    The Referendum voting system was a REAL farce. English people living in Scotland could vote. Scots living in England couldn’t (and I know many wanted to vote YES). Scottish Servicemen and women living abroad couldn’t vote either. Eh!!!

    Voting for Independence should relate to Scots born and living in Scotland…. only. Easy just to show a birth certificate, utility bill and proof of identity at a polling booth. Postal votes pose a real problem and yes this is what they will no doubt advocate. A postal vote system that has been proven to be totally flawed and open to blatant corruption.

  • Alan Clark

    personally I feel if you can’t get to a polling station you should be allowed to give your postal ballot to a friend to put it in the ballot box for you
    Or allow them to cast your vote for you
    At the Scottish referendum my ballot paper was not a legitimate paper
    as it had no barcode on the back
    If that can happen in a huge ballot like that then it can happen in a general election
    The whole system is corrupt and needs to be brought to its knees to start again

  • fred

    @S Paterson

    Most of what you said is not true and perfect examples of the myths propagated online after the referendum.

    Someone having a holiday home in Scotland would not be qualified to vote in the referendum. Scottish servicemen stationed abroad would.

  • Melanie McKellar

    @S Paterson from the aboutmyvote website-
    “If it is too late to send your vote back by
    post, you can hand it in on polling day to the returning officer at your local council, or drop it off at a polling station. For further information contact the Returning Officer.”

  • Melanie McKellar

    @Fred

    True the rules said you had to resident in Scotland.
    Can you really be 100% certain that not 1 person registered to vote at their Holiday Home address?

  • Johnstone

    Postal votes should again be provided only to those who have medical certification that they are unable to attend the polling station, or evidence of living abroad

    OK, unless you have been living abroad for more than 15 years then you are ineligible for postal voting, according to HM GOV.

  • fred

    “True the rules said you had to resident in Scotland.
    Can you really be 100% certain that not 1 person registered to vote at their Holiday Home address?”

    Can you be 100% certain that if a person did they didn’t vote Yes?

    It isn’t like the result was close.

  • Les Cunningham

    Kempe,

    “Death rate in Scotland is 10/1,000…”

    At first glance this implies an average age at death of about 100. If this figure is accurate, it must be an effect of a growing population, whether because of a high birth rate or immigration by young people, and probably would not apply to an area such as Argyll and Bute. In any case, the relevant figure is not the death rate amongst the whole population, but that amongst people who are registered for a postal vote, which excludes children and probably includes a relatively high proportion of elderly people who would have difficulty in getting to a polling station, especially in a rural area. Hence the relevant death rate is probably about double what you quote.

    “I don’t know what the time interval was between application for postal ballots and last post before voting day but if it was three months…”

    Postal ballots may have been applied for much earlier; the relevant question is how long it was since the electoral roll was last updated, since anyone dying after then would stay on the roll until the next revision, unless someone took the trouble to notify the Electoral Registration Office. I believe the last update before the referendum was late 2013, and so the relevant period is about six months, not three. Taken together with the previous point, it looks as if the number of deaths that you are estimating is far too low.

    “Likewise whilst a number of postal voters would’ve died how many signed up for postal voting to replace them? We don’t know.”

    This is irrelevant – someone signing up for a postal vote does not and cannot ‘replace’ another postal voter who has died since the electoral roll was last updated.

    “..but we started off with the number of people who already had dementia and if they’d had any advanced stage of the disease they wouldn’t have been able to apply for a postal vote in the first place.”

    Remember that when one registers to vote by post, one can choose to have a postal vote for all subsequent elections, so that someone who is entitled to a postal vote may have made that application several years earlier. Remember also that until this year updating of the electoral register was done on the basis of one form per household, so that someone with dementia living with a family member may, quite legally, have been kept on the electoral roll. It is therefore perfectly possible that some people with severe dementia were on the electoral roll and registered for a postal vote.

    All the opinion polls before the referendum typically showed perhaps 10% as ‘don’t know. It is likely that a similar number of people could not make up their minds when they were faced with voting. Some may have made a last minute choice, others may have taken the easy way out and not bothered voting. My guess – and I admit it is a guess – is that half the undecided would not vote which would amount perhaps to 5% of voters. Add to that perhaps 2% for people who cannot vote because they are dead, or too ill, or have mislaid their ballot paper, or whatever, and to me 96% looks implausible.

    I agree that there is no proof here that the postal vote was tampered with, but I do think that there are good reasons to strongly suspect it.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Les Cunningham
    19/04/2015 10:12 am

    Les, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

    I am short of time at the moment so I can’t sit down and think this out thoroughly. I just wanted to query this:

    [Kempe] “Likewise whilst a number of postal voters would’ve died how many signed up for postal voting to replace them? We don’t know.”

    [Les Cunningham] “This is irrelevant – someone signing up for a postal vote does not and cannot ‘replace’ another postal voter who has died since the electoral roll was last updated.”

    We are comparing the numbers on the electoral roll with the actual number of postal votes cast. The allegation is that people on the electoral roll will have died before the opportunity to cast a vote, therefore the potential postal votes cast will reduce. The number of postal votes cast as compared with potential votes is too high to be legitimate, for this and other reasons.

    But if people register for postal votes after the last electoral roll update, this will increase the potential postal votes and will also increase the actual postal votes. So the number of people who have registered for postal votes since the electoral roll was last updated cannot be irrelevant.

    Is there something wrong with my reasoning?

    Many thanks,

    John

  • Kempe

    ” At first glance this implies an average age at death of about 100. If this figure is accurate, it must be an effect of a growing population, ”

    Not sure how you work out the average age at death but the rate is the number of people per 1,000 population who can be expected o die in an average year. It’s not connected with the birth rate at all.

    http://www.scotland.org/about-scotland/facts-about-scotland/population-of-scotland/

    ” In any case, the relevant figure is not the death rate amongst the whole population, but that amongst people who are registered for a postal vote, which excludes children and probably includes a relatively high proportion of elderly people who would have difficulty in getting to a polling station, especially in a rural area. Hence the relevant death rate is probably about double what you quote. ”

    You may have a point but the “about double” is mere guess work and the death rate amongst children is low.

    ” Postal ballots may have been applied for much earlier; the relevant question is how long it was since the electoral roll was last updated, since anyone dying after then would stay on the roll until the next revision ”

    This I believe is the crux of the matter. Whilst a published copy might be available to the public once a year the real Electoral Roll is constantly being updated as people reach voting age, die or move in or out of the area etc. Once a death is reported to the local council they will remove that person’s name from the roll immediately. Similarly anyone reaching 18 doesn’t have to wait a year until before they can vote.

    ” It is therefore perfectly possible that some people with severe dementia were on the electoral roll and registered for a postal vote. ”

    They would still have legally been able to vote. Not sure what your point is.

    I think John has adequately dealt with the point about people registering for a postal vote in the run up to the referendum.

    The SNP had observers at every count and expressed themselves satisfied at the way things were conducted. If there’s evidence of fraud then it should be presented to the electoral commission but so far I don’t think that anything I’ve seen so far constitutes solid evidence.

  • S Paterson

    Melanie thanks very much for taking the time to pass on that information. I’ll contact the Returning Officer tomorrow.

    Fred ‘Most of what you said is not true and perfect examples of the myths propagated online after the referendum. Someone having a holiday home in Scotland would not be qualified to vote in the referendum. Scottish servicemen stationed abroad would.’’

    Sorry I don’t agree with that Fred. Soldiers, Sailors and AirForce personnel who had left Scotland as part of their military posting, such as residing in England, Cyprus or Germany, could not vote if they did not have a registered address in Scotland. No doubt some would have done what others, non-military, did living outwith Scotland and that was use a relatives address or long lost aunties / friends address.

    As to holiday homes. Individuals registered in more than one constituency such as students (family living outwith Scotland) could vote in the Referendum. People with holiday homes in Scotland couldn’t vote if they spent a few days, only, there each year. Howewer if they stated that they spent most weekends there, as an example, they could vote in the Referendum either in person, by proxy or by postal vote.

    As far as corruption is concerned you don’t have to fiddle a few votes here and there (or 800,000 postal votes) you just have to fiddle with the final computerised counts (from afar)…..How easy is that? ‘Programmer under oath admits computers rig elections’ https://youtu.be/1thcO_olHas

    An account from inside the Renfrewshire counting venue (the region that started counting all postal votes on the 10/09/2014 as per information given to me) was provided by enumerator Jim Daly. His statement is as follows:

    “I would like to offer the following observation. I was an enumerator at the referendum vote count on behalf of Renfrewshire Council. The Returning Officer was David Martin, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Council.

    The vote counting was finished at 2.30am. What then happened appeared to be a mystery to me. Mr Martin and his assistants in suits seemed to be in a flap. This consisted of staring at laptops in front of those who were responsible for collating results and strong words were obviously exchanged.

    As time marched on Mr. Martin paced around the hall rather nervously.Then there were more meetings, in a corridor, out of view.There was one lady with a laptop who, it appeared, was responsible for collating all the votes, but something wasn’t going well. She was taken away by one of Mr. Martin’s assistants, out of view of the public, only to return and disconnect her laptop and leave the hall with it under her arm.

    Mr. Martin still paced the floor looking uneasy, talking to what looked like aides. As time passed from 2.30am until declaration time (4.52am), there were visible signs that those in charge weren’t happy with something.

    During this process there were observers watching everything that the enumerators were doing but not what was being carried out by those recording [numbers] on the laptops. From 2.30am until 4.52am the reason we were given for non-declaration was [that we were] wait[ing] for a TV slot….’’

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    S Paterson

    Please report back on developments and with any new info; this is both interesting and important.

    Thanks.

  • S Paterson

    Hi Habbabkuk what type of developments / info are you referring to?

    What is clear now is that people should avoid postal votes if at all possible in light, as an example, of Judge Mawrey identifying postal ballot fraud being committed in 14 different ways. No one has ever informed us if the postal votes went to England or not and if they did so why? We’ve never heard another dickie bird about people like Ruth Davidson knowing how the Referendum was going? due to ‘sampling’ and if Renfrewshire (East?)was counting all postal votes prior to the 16/09/2014 was it the only constituency to do so or not?

    We should all ensure that exit polls are carried out however how can we detect computer programmes that can alter the final count in all constituencies / overall? The youtube video outlines how this type of computer software was available 15 years ago. One wonders what’s available on the market now.

    Someone, somewhere, will have to dramatically tighten up the voting system in Scotland at least before the next Referendum. It’s just not on say for people coming here, on holiday, and renting accommodation to enable them to vote. Last year the deadline for proving you were residing in Scotland was 16 days prior to the Referendum (02/09/2014). In essence this means that you could rent a flat for a month and vote here.

    People with holiday homes in Scotland should be totally exempt from voting in a Referendum as should students. It just beggars belief that our whole future can be dictated by people who don’t have their main residence here or will move on within a few weeks(renting accomodation) or within a year or 2 … 3 … or 4 (studying here).

    Additionally if English people residing here can vote then Scots living in the rest of the UK should be able to do so too. It’s out and out discrimination to do otherwise especially as many of them have had to relocate because they can’t get a job here.

    Better still the vote should be open, only, to Scots who were born and live here. That would absolutely simplify the whole situation. Straighforward enough to control at polling stations. The postal vote of course is another issue altogether and I’ve got no idea how that could be controlled / monitored. Maybe some whizz kid on here could come up with a solution.

  • Les Cunningham

    John Spencer-Davis

    “So the number of people who have registered for postal votes since the electoral roll was last updated cannot be irrelevant.”

    Perhaps not completely irrelevant, but of very minor importance, in that these people are less likely to have died before the referendum.

    Kempe

    In a hypothetical population with a static age distribution (births matching deaths, no immigration or emigration), the annual death rate per thousand would have to be 1000 divided by the average age at death. The population of Scotland as a whole is growing, which means more younger people and therefore fewer deaths. However, some rural areas have populations which are static or even declining, with a tendency for young people to move away, and therefore these areas have a greater average age and hence a higher death rate than Scotland as a whole. This may be exacerbated by people moving there for the peace and quiet when they retire. I suspect this may apply to Argyll and Bute.

    In particular, if we are looking at the subset of the population who are registered to vote by post, the average age must be greater than for the population as a whole, given that it excludes everyone below voting age. As you say, the death rate amongst children is low. So, the greater the average age of any group, the higher its death rate will be.

    If the relevant authorities are indeed diligent about removing the names of people from the electoral register as soon as deaths are notified, then the number of postal ballots sent out to deceased people should be small, but I have my doubts about the efficiency of such local bureaucracies.

    Regarding my comment on people with severe dementia, it is simply that they could have received a postal ballot but been unable to use it because of their dementia.

    I will repeat my assertion that if even 2% of postal voters were unable to vote for any reason whatsoever (death, serious illness, imprisonment, absence from home from before the ballot paper was sent out until after the referendum, etc.) then a 96% ‘turnout’ means that only one voter in 50 failed to vote because they could not make up their mind, or because they had no preference either way, or because they forgot to post their vote in time. Change 2% to 1%, and that still means only 1 postal voter in 33 could have voted but did not. I still find that implausible – not proof of anything, but grounds for suspicion.

    I suspect that there would have to be virtually cast-iron proof in the public domain of vote tampering before the authorities would even admit that it is a possibility and start an investigation. Therefore it would be counter-productive for the SNP to make any kind of official complaint on the basis of suspicion, however reasonable that suspicion might seem, as their complaint would be only used to discredit them.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Les Cunningham
    19/04/2015 6:22 pm

    [JSD]: “So the number of people who have registered for postal votes since the electoral roll was last updated cannot be irrelevant.”

    [LC]: Perhaps not completely irrelevant, but of very minor importance, in that these people are less likely to have died before the referendum.

    [JSD]: I don’t think you have understood what I am suggesting. That these people are less likely to have died before the referendum works against you, not for you. The suggestion is that the count is illegitimately high because people have died before voting. The fact that people have received postal votes and voted who are not on the electoral register as it stood a year before the referendum means that more votes are legitimately counted than the electoral register shows. Therefore it works against the fact that the count is illegitimately high. Yes or no? What is wrong with what I am saying, if anything?

    Kind regards,

    John

  • fred

    The electoral roll is constantly being updated these days. Their computer is linked to the local authority and to the Department of Works and Pensions, the Registrar of Births Marriages and Deaths tells them if somebody dies. When someone registered for a postal vote the numbers would have been amended right away.

  • orri

    Throughout all of this there’s a tacit assumption that the percentages from postal ballots should somehow be the same as those from those cast in person. The way things are done here we never get a chance to put that assumption to the test. Perhaps because if it were shown to be true then there would be no justification in continuing with them.

  • Abe Rene

    I will be voting in person, but I am glad that if I had not been able to do so, that a postal vote would have been available. As for the turnout, it is indeed regrettable that none of the major parties have committed to building 1 million Y-cubes and so solved the housing problem. What can they expect but a low turnout when they don’t attend to such an important problem. 🙂

  • Helen

    Accredited members of the press would do well to look in on Rutland.

    A clear fix was prevented in 2011 and the Electoral Commissioner ‘put a note on the Returning Officer’s file.’ We have the same Returning Officer – Helen Briggs, featured in Private Eye.

    This time the Rutland county council 10 pm postal vote is scheduled to take place not in Rutland – no, but in Melton’s Cattle Market. The ballot boxes will be shipped to Melton after the morning postal vote has been counted in Rutland, opened at 10 pm in Melton and then shipped back to Rutland for the count – due to start in Rutland at 2 pm on the 8th of May.

    A local blogger, who has been maliciously taken to court for harassment and stalking and found not guilty, has been elected to the parish council unopposed. He tells me that he has been told he will not be admitted to the count. Then he says he asked if he could attend as a blogger – no came the reply, no bloggers are to be admitted. There is also a ban on photography and videos agt the count.

    It seems the only lessons we learn about fixing counts in Rutland is how to fix them better.

    2pm 8th May Victoria Hall – Oakham LE15. ~If you have press accreditation please get leave to attend.

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