As reported in the recent Peterborough Telegraph article, our city will be one of 8 areas in England to take part in a scheme to help combat electoral fraud, in this years local elections on May 3rd.
Given there are 353 councils in England, this means 98% of authorities are not taking part, so in a way, we are a bit special here in Peterborough!
What to expect?
- Council officers hand delivering postal voting packs and completing face-to-face surveys with postal voters to stress the importance of completing the vote themselves.
- A second round of face-to-face surveys will be completed after the postal vote returns to check residents put an X in the box themselves.
- Face-to-face surveys to be completed at random computer generated addresses throughout the city over the coming weeks.
- All proxy voters will be required to produce photographic identification at polling stations before being issued with a ballot paper to vote on another person’s behalf.
Why is this happening?
It mainly relates back to the electoral fraud in 2004, when ex-Tory Mayor of Peterborough Raja Akhtar and ex-Labour Mayor Mohammed Choudhary were jailed, for interfering with postal votes in Central Ward during council elections.
Also jailed for the same offence, were ex-Labour official Tariq Mahood, ex-Labour candidate Maqbool Hussein, ex-Conservative councillor Abdul Razaq and ex-Conservative candidate Mohammed Khaliq.
What do I think?
It’s sad. But I guess it’s needed? That said, it reminds me that a) I believe that the first past the post voting system needs to be replaced with proportional representation and, b) I believe we need to start using electronic voting, and that this shows it is no less secure than the conventional means of casting your vote.
Do you know some dodgy goings on?
- The council has set up an election fraud hotline and anyone who has any concerns can report them by calling 01733 452277.
- If you believe an act of malpractice is ongoing call police on 101 or 999.