Guardian Unlimited  
The Guardian
Go to:  
  Guardian Unlimited Archive
 
Network home UK news World latest Books Money Film Society The Observer
Politics Education Shopping Work Football Jobs Media Search
   
Archive

Archive 

Guarding against electoral fraud


Guardian

Friday May 11, 2001

Nick Davies rightly draws attention to the growing potential for large-scale electoral fraud in Britain (Vote early, vote often, G2, May 9). The relaxed registration procedures and ease of access to pre-election day postal and other ways of voting being introduced here - far from boosting democratic legitimacy, have marred public faith in the polls because of the (often justified) perception that they have enabled fraud. The Electoral Reform Society's quest to boost turnout as an end in itself risks encouraging systemic abuse. Certainly it is now grotesquely easy to obtain multiple ballots as our recent report, Strength in Numbers, showed - see www.bhhrg.org/britain/britain2001/strength_in_numbers.htm.

Unlike other countries, Britain refuses to meet its OSCE obligation to permit independent election observers, either from the UK or abroad. Officialdom here frustrated, for instance, our efforts to send observers to the devolution referendum in Wales in 1997, which is widely admitted to have been marred by serious irregularities, or the London mayoral contest, in which technical hiccups marred the introduction of US-style electronic scanning machines.

Democracy must be seen to be done, and the fact that in all probability the current general election will be decided by a landslide should not encourage complacency.
Mark Almond, British Helsinki Human Rights Group,
MPAHel@aol.com

• It is the decline of political party membership and activism which opens up the electoral system to fraud. The electoral law has always been predicated on the parties checking each other. For instance, the official marked electoral register is available to the public for six months from polling day. From this it is possible to ascertain whether recently deceased voters are marked off and, more importantly, cross check whether voters registered at more than one address have voted at each. This may sound laborious but it certainly used to be done in marginal seats, and the advent of computers should make it easier, and facilitate police investigation.
Michael Meadowcroft,
Leeds,
meadowcroft@bramley.demon.co.uk


     

UP

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4184791,00.html
The Guardian, Britain, "Guarding against electoral fraud," letters from Mark Almond, British Helsinki Human Rights Group, and Michael Meadowcroft, Leeds , Friday May 11, 2001

Want to help stop electoral fraud? Send $25 subscription to
The H. S. Chapman Society, G.P.O. Box 2391, Sydney, N.S.W., 2001, Australia
http://www.hschapman.org.au/

Copied from http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4184791,00.html . If links don't work, go to the original webpage, then try there.
See also "Concern over postal vote fraud loopholes" in June 5, 2001 issue at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4198087,00.html
"Sinn Fein accused of electoral fraud" http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4198856,00.html

*** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is displayed without profit to those who have an interest in reading such information for research and educational purposes. If quoting from this, PLEASE acknowledge the original source. ***

180  ^ ^  < < BBC exposure  CONTENTS 1-50  151-on  Translate  Links  Events  Books  HOME  Queensland > >  v v  182
Search for
Copied with Microsoft® Internet Explorer on 07 June 2001, last modified with Ms WordPad 09* Oct 03
Translations: http://babelfish.altavista.com/  www.tranexp.com/  www.alis.com/  http://lingvo.org/traduku
Just World Campaign, 46 Cobine Way, Greenwood (a Perth suburb) , Western Australia, 6024, Australia. Tel.: +61 ( 0 ) 8   9343 9532, Cellular Mobile: 0408 054 319
E-mail: john.massam@multiline.com.au
Doc. 181.   URL = http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/guarding.htm