It's in the post…

THE BBC reports that there has been a record number of applications for postal votes. 33,000 have registered – 10,000 up on the 2004 European election and the 2003 Assembly election. A response to the annual registration process, or cause for concern about fraud?

The BBC reported:

The SDLP say they have come across cases of people who have given what they believed was a postal application form to a political party, but have then found the form switched to an application for a proxy vote, to be cast by another person.

  • Occasional Commenter

    A BBC reporter stole someone’s vote simply be getting them to send the vote to a different address. Am I naive to hope that in NI the postal vote is posted to the actual address on the register?

    If there is any postal or proxy vote being attempted in my name, I expect a letter sent to my address about it, I was shocked to discover even this basic safegaurd isn’t applied in England.

    Also, How would the annual registration process increase the number of postal votes?

  • Occasional Commenter

    When I said ‘them’ in my first sentence I was referring to the electoral authorities.

  • beano; EverythingUlster.com

    “9,819 between West Tyrone and Fermanagh South Tyrone”

    Is there a reason why the number of applications was so much larger here than in the rest of the country? You’d think it’d be easier to get to the polls there, with the recent initiative of late night opening at polling stations and all.

  • Occasional Commenter

    beano, I don’t really know all the constituencies but does it look to you like postal votes are more likely in marginal constituencies? That could look suspicious but then again, maybe the sort of people who don’t usually vote might be the type who would make a little effort for a postal vote if the result might be close.

  • Fraggle

    I wonder how closely the number of postal votes from Tyrone and Fermanagh tallies with the number of voters away at university who are still registered at home.

  • fmk

    the evening standard in london attempted to show how easy it was to illegally obtain postal ballots and are now in throuble themselves – http://www.siglamag.com/blog/2005/04/voter-fraud-in-uk.php

    i don’t think the fact that the numbers are up is a signifier of fraud, but the problem is, as the judge in the birmingham case point out, the postal ballot is itself an invitation to fraud – so yes, i would expect fraud to be up, partic in marginal seats.

    the idea of sending the ballots in specially marked envelopes deserves to be applauded. that an english judge could liken the english democratic system to that of a banana republic – http://www.loopdiloop.com/folderol/2005/04/return-to-your-constituencies-and.asp – is pretty amazing. normally english judges would consider such a thing to be too much of an appaling vista to utter those words.

  • Young Fogey

    Even in the 1994 Euros, there were about 5,000 postal votes a piece in FST and the then Mid Ulster, while the four Belfast constituencies were struggling up to about 200 each. Local traditons are different.

  • PatMcLarnon

    Given the high number of postal and proxy votes it is good to know that the hoods who were involved with the electoral office in Omagh are no longer involved in the democratic process.

  • rapper

    The point being Pat?

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