Wasting parliamentary time

The incidence of vote fraud in the UK is vanishingly small.

This post Brexit government seems remarkably keen to solve microscopic and even non existent problems. The incidence of vote fraud in the UK is vanishingly small. Very effective UK legislation to tackle vote fraud is already in place. QED Vote fraud does not need new legislation.

However imposing “voter ID” is highly likely to have undesirable, oppressive and discriminatory effects and our UK government and our MP know this. Because making it harder to vote suppresses the vote in groups which find things hard anyway.

But there would be no harm in raising voter awareness of vote fraud. Vote fraud can and has been effectively detected and prosecuted: here in Peterborough and elsewhere. In fact, anybody taking part in the electoral process can spot vote fraud and report it (as long as they know what to look out for). Moreover it is already a statutory responsibility of the police to protect our democratic systems. If you witness vote fraud while it is actually happening, call the police on 999. If you’ve seen it in the past, report it online. It is a crime, like any other. If our MP is aware of instances which have not been detected, reported and prosecuted, perhaps he could explain what advice he gave those who witnessed a crime and what the police did with all those reports?

If my MP believes that the incidence of what he believes is a problem is statistically higher than extremely rare in the UK or if a vote fraud has ever been shown to have influenced the result of an election, perhaps he or our new Police and Crime Commissioner could produce the evidence? Evidence of crime can overturn an election result in the UK, which is exactly as it should be. But while not having enough evidence to substantiate your case can be expensive when an accusation goes to court (as happened after Peterborough’s own 2019 by election) wasting his constituents’ time is not chargeable to our MP and even more unfortunately (given the urgency of what needs doing in parliament) no offence of wasting parliamentary time has yet been put on the statute book. Perhaps it should be?

Help Stop Vote Fraud! and when to ring which number

Vote Fraud Hotline
Make a note of the phone number. Call 999 if you see an offence being committed.

Vote Fraud, Vote Rigging, and other Electoral Offences: The council says: 

“Electoral fraud

Electoral fraud is an illegal interference with the process of an election.

What is it?

Acts of fraud tend to involve affecting vote counts to bring about a desired election outcome, whether by increasing the vote share of the favoured candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates, or both. There are many different types of electoral fraud including:

  • Vote buying
  • Intimidation
  • Ballot stuffing
  • Misrecording of votes
  • Misuse of postal or proxy votes
  • Destruction or invalidation of ballot papers

What can I do?

There are simple steps you can take in order to prevent yourself falling prey to electoral fraud:

  • Keep polling cards and postal ballots safe at home , not allowing others to handle them at any time
  • If you arrive at the polling station and someone has voted in your name, notify the Presiding Officer. They will provide you with a tendered ballot allowing you to vote
  • When filling in postal ballots, do so alone. Do not allow anyone else to see you choice or cast it on your behalf
  • Put postal ballots into the envelope and seal it yourself
  • Under no circumstances give your postal ballot to anyone else before the envelope is sealed
  • If anyone tries to help you against your will or force you to give them your postal vote, contact the police

Fraud hotline

If you are suspicious or worried about anything to do with voting and elections you can report it to our Election fraud hotline on 01733 452249 or to Police 101. If you believe an offence is taking place immediately you can call 999.”  from: http://www.peterborough.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/elections/electoral_fraud.aspx

Please help ensure Peterborough voters are free to vote the way they want and have their intentions truly represented in the electoral process.  Help spread the word: download and print electoral fraud poster 1 (sorry it isn’t beautiful, please send in your or a fresh or newer version!)