Voter fraud

People have often written in to thie site to complain about possible voter fraud. I am pleased to see the various representations made to the government about this has led to today’s announcement of pilots in 2018 of requiring voter ID proof in the local elections  as a prelude for the 2020 General Election.

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88 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Indeed, postal voting is very clearly being heavily abused, especially in some Labour areas or where one person often takes all the extended families’ votes.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Indeed any attempt to secure voting in the polling stations is going to be made pointless while we have postal voting .

      • BOF
        Posted December 27, 2016 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        Iain Moore
        Absolutly agree. Great harm was done to.the integrity of the voting system with postal voting on demand. Proving identity at the poling booth will not tackle this issue.

        What is your opinion on this JR?

      • lojolondon
        Posted December 27, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Yes, voter fraud in polling stations is the tip of the iceberg, the proper fraud is by postal votes. This was known as far back as Gordon Brown’s premiership, but somehow we have since had 3 GE’s without anyone doing anything about it – perhaps the incumbent government always feels they have too much to lose??

    • Know-dice
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      There also doesn’t seem to be any check for voters registering from multiple addresses around the country.

    • alan jutson
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic

      For the first time in my life I used a postal vote for the referendum, as I was away on holiday on the due voting date.

      Amazed at the simplicity of choice in registering for either just that one time, or to postal vote for forever.
      I chose just that one time, as I believe it important that postal voting should only be offered if you cannot actually get to your local polling station on the due date.

      I wonder how many people have been recorded as postal voting who have actually passed away, or even left the Country for good ?

      I really do believe you should only be able to register for a postal vote for one election/referendum each time, with proof of identity and signature required on the application.

      Not before time we need to tighten up the election rules, that goes for so called Party sending limits as well judging by the fiasco at the last election, when all three main Parties seem to have be flouting the rules, with little penalty as a result.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    So the queen did back Brexit it seems, according the the BBC’s political editor. Just as I would have expected of such a wise & sensible woman. I suspect like her equally sensible husband she also thinks that climate alarmism (and energy at three times the real cost) is rather an exaggerated and damaging racket too. Certainly most sensible physicists, engineers & real scientists, do unless they are looking for research funding perhaps, work for the BBC or are seeking honour or elevation to the Lords.

    Reply The Queen was neutral, but any question asked from a Brexit point of view was so unusual in the establishment that one of her questions from that perspective was taken to mean more than it probably did.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      It’s instructive that the BBC didn’t publish the nuanced comment from HM.
      This of course didn’t fit the BBC agenda as it would have been a massive boost for Leave.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t seen this reported on the BBC, nor the comments by Mervyn King in favour of Brexit.

    • Robert Petrulengo
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      I reckon that Laura Kuensberg and her (secret) informant ought to be ashamed of themselves for repeating gossip as if it were news.
      If I went to dinner with someone and then we got down to confidential talk, I would not expect the other person to divulge it to anyone – let alone an ambitious reporter.

      • rose
        Posted December 27, 2016 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        Anyway the Queen isn’t going to say anything unguarded.

        It was the same the other day when the Times had one of its fake news stories on the front page – that the Queen was disappointed that the PM hadn’t opened up to her about Brexit. How absurd, to think that the two tightest lipped women in the Kingdom were going to tell the Tabloid Times what they hadn’t been talking about – or tell “a source”! The Times has form in making things up – the character assassination of Mrs Leadsom, the “Government leak” about chaos over Brexit, and now this about the Queen and Mrs May. The BBC isn’t much better. It doesn’t yet actually fabricate things from nothing but it, as you say, repeats gossip as news.

        What has happened to the court etiquette that you don’t repeat what royalty says to you?

      • Andy
        Posted December 27, 2016 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        I doubt Her Majesty said anything at all. And it is a convention of the dinner table that conversation is ‘Sub Rosa’ (‘Under the Rose’) and remains so.

  3. Rk
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Do the people writing in have any evidence?

    I would be very concerned if the UK went the way of the United States where supposed concerns about fraud are used to restrict people from voting.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Yes many.
      Voting fraud in Birmingham was investigated by an official enquiry.
      It is available on line to read.
      The judge used the phrase that certain examples were worse than a banana republic.

    • Mr Nobody
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Of course it is believed that all those who are “restricted” by showing evidence of who they are would have voted Democrat or in this case Labour, LibDem or Green. 😉

    • I see nothing
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Rk . If you want evidence of voter fraud then stand for a local election where you have a real chance of winning against an established party. You’ll be invited to the count. Stand at the tables. In the process of counting when you are going 50-50 against someone, keep you eyes especially open and don’t be momentarily diverted by some distracting noise or trifling event. It is THAT moment, of course when the next bundle of ballot papers go from 50-50 to 90-10 in favour of your opponent. You’ll watch that bundle counted out before your very eyes and wonder why that one bundle is so very different from the others. Try proving it! Just ask around and you’ll hear other candidates through the years have also noticed all kinds of things. But they are surrounded with many counters and voting officials who stem directly from the ruling party. Try proving it has a significance! You can’t.
      Alternatively, try introducing even a minimum of security such as ID at balloting and you will be met with such an irrational opposition to the idea citing such things as ..”it will hamper people voting” that you will wonder you are not living in a partial dictatorshsip. But try proving it!

    • I know who I am
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      “…used to restrict people from voting.” Used by who? All parties wish people to vote. The poorest have to produce ID for welfare benefits on a regular basis. In the UK they need to produce more than one form of ID. The rich will just have to remember to take their pilots licence to the voting station.

  4. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    That’ll be the Cities…again. Whats the method of document verification and recording each event? Postal voting?

    • John Blyth
      Posted December 29, 2016 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      In some countries an ink mark is used to show you have voted as is used in some night clubs. It might be an idea to do the same here. I agree that postal voting needs reform.

  5. Yossarion
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    NI numbers is not the Answer, why when someone passes away or leaves the Country are the NI numbers not void.

    • acorn
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      I have tried numerous times, to find out how many National Insurance numbers have been issued in total; and, does a number ever get re-issued / cancelled by a Death Certificate or a similarly authenticated document. The best guess I have currently is; there are enough to give the UK population, 16 years and over, two each!

      PS. Household consumer spending, is what drives the economy and ultimately, households own everything. Which way those households get the money to spend including jobs; savings interest; company dividends or debt, is another question. Meanwhile, should you want data to read this Christmas, have a look at,

      https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/satelliteaccounts/datasets/consumertrendscurrentpriceseasonallyadjusted

      Give a cheer for all those who are doing their bit for the economy. You will see on Sheet 12CS, that the nation is spending close to £1.2 billion a quarter on Prostitution. I wonder how they measured that; and, how do you get that job?

      • jane4brexit
        Posted December 29, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        The eu charged us an extra £1.7 billion in 2014 in membership fees, based on trade figures, some of which came by retrospectively including our prostitution and drugs ‘industries’ in the new and backdated calculation of UK trade. The eu has charged us on this basis since.
        In my opinion this is insane as these industries are in most instances illegal and when he was first asked for this amount David Cameron said he would not pay it…by the due date 1st December, but he paid it later after the 2015 election.
        As you point out how do we know what these amounts are and how can they be measured? Also why don’t we try and claim this payment back from the eu under The Proceeds of Crime Act 1992?
        Hopefully paying this fee is a problem that we will no longer have to worry about soon!

  6. Rotten Boroughs
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    It may be an idea to ban employees, ex-employees of Councils and associated services and groups from sitting in ballot stations in charge of voting papers. Also banning them and serving Councillors and ex-Councillors from supervisory positions in the Counts where they actually touch whole wodges of ballot papers. Also lock the doors of the Count so Party members cannot personally deliver hundreds of completed ballots papers in their hands after returning them to a counting desk and saying: ” they were a sample” taken to mean they were counted earlier as a sample to see if everything was ok.
    Just in case this happens 😉 …more than once.

    Why a pilot scheme is necessary is odd. Were there pilot schemes for driving licences and passports? Pilot schemes for producing evidence of income when applying for welfare benefits? Why a pencil and not a pen in ballot stations?
    A receipt should be given in the form of a copy of your ballot. Why not? We do have the technology. Then anyone, could check the number of votes cast..at any time in the future.
    I believe it would have startling results in local elections, potentially of course…if something could conceivably be wrong and wrong for decades.

    Why is it felt even remotely kosher that electoral offices are in Council Town Halls? And staffed by people related to Councillors, serving and otherwise? With access by Councillors and other Council staff?
    A bussed-in electoral office with persons wholly unrelated to the area could be tried as pilot schemes due to their expense….just to see if there was any difference in voting patterns. Why not a rotating permanent practice of so doing , picking on one or two areas at random…at short notice? Just so we can be sure?

  7. Pravdaland
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I must say the level of voting for the Labour Party in my rock solid Labour area has been a mystery for many years. To everyone. A mystery even to Labour voters themselves because even at work they are usually in a small minority if not totally isolated. Try it! Ask the next council workman you see if he votes at all. Generally he will say”Well I used to at one time . My dad did. But I don’t bother. They’re useless!”

  8. agricola
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Yes it needs to be dealt with. Personally I have never gone along with the objection to a national identity card with modern anti fraud technology employed as in passports. If you give it detached thought we already have passports, bank cards, loyalty cards, driving licences, and pilots licences. Our pets get chipped and we can be tracked via our mobile phones. A residents card issued by central government to those who are entitled to be in the UK would simplify matters considerably. Providing it was never in the hands of those who issue National Insurance cards and numbers. I would also advocate carrying ones entire health record on a memory stick attached to the car key ring or house key ring or both. Cheaper than a national computer system that has never worked and a fantastic source of information for A&E should you find yourself unconscious in their hands.

    • APL
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Agricola: “If you give it detached thought we already have passports, bank cards, ”

      Why don’t we just go back to the old system, if you are paying the rates ( council tax ) you are entitled to vote, otherwise not.

      Agricola: “Our pets get chipped and we can be tracked via our mobile phones.

      Agricola: “I would also advocate carrying ones entire health record on a memory stick attached to the car key ring or house key ring or both. ”

      Yes. Privatize your health records entirely. An individual may make the records available to a GP or consultant for the period of the treatment.

      Which leads me to ask, whose pet is it?

      You can be tracked by your mobile phone, but that is a consequence of the mobile technology, not the impertinent concept of tracking individuals, just because.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      The problems with ID cards is that it makes a person accountable to the state rather than the state accountable to its people. We have never had this situation before, where (without being in charge of a gun, vehicle, machinery etc) one has to be licensed in person and it becomes an offence to show it without having committed any other offence.

      It goes the same way as a visibly and routinely armed police force.

      Haven’t the liberals done well !

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 27, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        “…and it becomes an offence *not* to show it…”

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 27, 2016 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          These are imported third world corruptions.

    • bigneil
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      “anti fraud technology employed as in passports. ”
      There is a difference between going through Heathrow passport control and our local polling station. The first has trained people and the relevant detectors. My polling station has 3 old ladies sat there , whose glasses are so strong I doubt if they could tell if anything was wrong if Tom Thumb turned up with Andre the Giant’s passport.
      The govt will do what it always does – -use it as an excuse to increase taxes – and nothing will change.

  9. JimS
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    We should go back to having complete electoral rolls readily available for public inspection too.

  10. JoolsB
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    About time too. Postal voting is rife with fraud. That’s the reason why Labour introduced it in the first place because they know they would be the main beneficiaries of such fraud. The only surprising thing is that your Government after nearly 7 years in power have done nothing about it.

    Except for the elderly and infirm and those with a genuine reason, postal voting should be banned with immediate effect. If someone cannot be bothered to get themselves down to the polling station every couple of years, then they they should lose their right to vote. They should also be made to provide their voting card in return for their vote. At present, someone can turn up at the polling station and just provide a name and not necessarily their own.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      The winnowing out of voters who couldn’t be bothered to get to a polling station could be seen as a means to limit the say those who couldn’t be bothered and didn’t have informed opinion.

    • Dunedin
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Re postal votes for the elderly.

      Increasing numbers of elderly people are now living in residential care or nursing homes. Many of these elderly residents suffer from varying degrees of dementia.

      I am wondering what happens to their votes? Any situation where people may need to be “helped” to cast their vote is open to abuse.

      • Insider knowledge
        Posted December 27, 2016 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        Even people who are deemed mentally ill or disabled get a postal vote. I was told this matter-of-factly when I asked a “nurse” outside one place who was smoking a cigarette. I was wary of leafleting such a place as I was not sure of which category of people lived there. But I was told my leaflet would be put in a common area for all to see if I so wished. I declined. Heaven knows if and who fills out their ballot papers.
        In a similar connection I was at a Labour Party branch meeting when the problem of whether to leaflet obvious sheltered homes …in particular where there were door entry systems stopping most entries was brought up.”Oh just put them in a large envelope and give them to the warden.,OUR wardens are usually very helpful “..chuckle..chuckle..knowing smiles all round..apart from me!
        The postal vote system should be scrapped altogether. The Labour Party, I know, used to arrange transport in members’ cars, calling at OAP bungalow doorsteps and asking if they would like a lift to the polling station and back for free. I also know several did not vote Labour. There was no obligation or pressure placed upon them, to be fair, to vote Labour. They were old enough to know better anyway.
        Surely those who cannot make it to a polling stations are proportionately equal to all parties? It would not affect the over-all vote result.

  11. Sean
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Photo ID should have been enforced years ago.
    Most of us have a photo ID. If not then get one to vote or lose your vote.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      @Sean

      Agree, I really cannot see the problem with ID cards of some sort as long as they have been properly vetted before hand otherwise they are open to abuse just like voting can be. Living in Spain for nearly 5 years I had no problem having to have an ID card. Same as I have no problem with CCTV cameras everywhere. Indeed, they often keep us safe or identify where there is a problem and who caused it.

  12. June Romans
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I look forward to seeing a restriction on postal voting, which is undoubtedly the prime source of electoral fraud.
    There should also be a requirement that any voter must have a good grasp of the English language, both written and oral.

    • auralay
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      There are still some people in rural Wales, who’s ancestors lived here before the Romans were such a nuisance, who might fail that test! Would you exclude them?

  13. Mark B
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    And what of postal voting ? No ID checks there I see.

    We are slowly turning into a Third World state. Backwards, not forwards.

    And is Labour did not have enough to worry about.

  14. Iain Moore
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    It seemed a reasonable contribution to securing our voting system, but of course it had to be met with a dissenting voice from BBC, Ken Livingstone. But in selecting Ken Livingstone to be the dissenting voice I wondered if the BBC was, in back handed way , advocating more voter security, for as a dissenting voice he has to be one the the most discredited. I suppose we can be thankful he didn’t find a way to bring Hitler into the argument. Of course I could be wrong, and the BBC does see him as a creditable figure.

  15. Lesley
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I’m still waiting for my continued inclusion on an Electoral Roll as we will have been living overseas for over 15 years come 2020.

  16. Bob
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Will “on-demand” postal voting still be allowed?
    It is widely abused.

  17. Chris S
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    In the sketchy detail given on the Today programme, postal voting wasn’t even mentioned. As that is the area where most fraud is committed, it should have been addressed first.

    We need to return to a situation where you can only get a postal vote in exceptional circumstances such as being away on the day or serious illness. Postal votes for convenience should no longer be allowed.

    At least we don’t have the problems associated with machine counting they have in the US !

    • Tweeter_L
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      I totally agree. Having worked on the issue & return of Postal Ballots I find it easy to see how, in spite of stringent and very labour-intensive efforts to ensure probity, one dominant individual could influence a whole group of voters e.g a family. As long as each person signs their own ballot paper, one person can supervise or execute the actual box-ticking on any number of papers. Our most basic protection is the ability to vote in secret, and this is vulnerable in postal voting. Polling Stations are open over a very long day to accommodate a variety of working patterns and I think it’s reasonable to ask people to make a bit of an effort: I do think that we should return to proving real need in order to be granted a postal vote.

      • alan jutson
        Posted December 27, 2016 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        T L

        Agreed.

  18. Chris S
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    PS on the subject of IDs.

    Since Brown’s abortive attempt to bring in ID cards, I’ve not been able to understand why we can’t resolve the problem of the relatively small percentage of people, 18 yrs of age and over, who don’t have a passport or a driving licence.

    It seems obvious to me that this group could very easily be issued with non-driving licences clearly marked “Issued for ID purposes only”. The cost would be minimum, even if they were issued free of charge and it would resolve lots of issues such as the under-age purchase of drink as well entitlement to free NHS treatment and UK residency.

    Can anyone think of a reason why this would not be effective ?

    • Iain Gill
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 4:01 am | Permalink

      National ID card project was going to cost 5 billion quid which is a waste.

      Plus inevitable mission creep and data held and powers granted which turns us into a police state. You only have to read the last national ID card bill which labour passed.

      • Chris S
        Posted December 29, 2016 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        The cost of issuing free non-driving licences would be minimal. First, not many would be needed and many who reached 18 would need a driving licence sooner or later anyway at which point they would then make a payment which would cover the cost of issuing the original card.

        We are so far down the road with electronic surveillance and cctv I can’t see issuing a couple of million non- driving licences would make much difference. As long as carrying them was not made compulsory.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted December 29, 2016 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

          Sadly rigour of proof used in driving license process is not that rigourous. Certainly not to hang a lot of rights on. It is easy to fool the system. Dvla regardless could not cope with volume needed if all adults needed one.

  19. LondonBob
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Labour knew exactly what they were doing when they loosened the controls on voting. Nice to see more being done to correct this. Still not happy about Commonwealth and Irish nationals being allowed to vote in our elections, imagine if that had decided the Brexit vote?

  20. The Active Citizen
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    JR, I agree with you on most things but this was one where I parted company with you during 2016. I recall you saying that you use a postal vote yourself and I hope you will review your position.

    You’ve certainly been an MP who actually listens to public opinion and I hope you will get behind real reform. The new proposals don’t go anywhere near far enough.

    1. Postal voting should go back to where it was – armed forces serving overseas and those unable to go to the polling booth due to illness or infirmity with a doctor’s certificate as evidence.
    2. The democratic right to vote is a privilege denied to many around the world. It’s not much to ask that people make time once every few years to exercise this right by going to a polling station.
    3. Regrettably photo-ID should now be required, to prevent abuse.
    4. Internet voting – never.
    5. Reducing the voting age – never.

    I have no desire to prevent people from voting. The opposte is the case and I want as many people as possible to vote. However elections are a fundamental building block on which any democratic society is based and must be beyond criticism.

    In days of yore we didn’t have to worry about voter fraud. Alas for reasons I won’t state here, this is no longer the case.

  21. auralay
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    The danger is that once everyone has an ID card, there will be “mission creep” with them being used more and more in interactions with the state. Starting, for the best of reasons, with benefit claimants, then escalating until every policeman and council official can demand ID at will. MPs would claim safeguards, as they did with the counter-terrorism measures, but it would be too tempting for the authorities.
    The day will come when we are all DNA profiled and micro-chipped at birth. I may not see it but I fear for my grandchildren.

    • rose
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      You seem to think we may actually have policemen on the beat in the future!

  22. Bert Young
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Anything to prevent fraud and misrepresentation is welcome news to me ; whether this is done by ID cards or by some other form of recognition I don’t mind . I have the same attitude to whatever mechanisms are in place to reduce and prevent crime and terrorism ; if my phone and e-mails are “tapped” – so be it . The world is a different place today and we need the maximum security at all times .

  23. Duyfken
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Voter ID, in practice, is presently non-existent for postal voting (as I do). If an ID check should be required for voting in person, then perhaps any postal vote should only be counted as valid with a clear photo-copy of the voter’s passport page showing photo and particulars.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 4:06 am | Permalink

      Vast numbers of Brits don’t have passports and the passport office could not cope if we all applied for one.

  24. English Pensioner
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Part of the problem is voter registration. Each year the householder receives a registration form to declare the names of those in the house. This is pre-printed with the names as shown on the previous register. When my daughters left home, I crossed their names out but I could have left them on the register, no-one would have questioned it. As my wife and I both have postal votes, my wife could easily have voted at the polling station instead of our eldest daughter as they both had the same names. There don’t appear to be any checks on the integrity of the register.
    That was one big advantage of the poll tax; the tax had to be paid by all those on the register, if they kept their names off the list in order to avoid the tax, they were criminals and probably shouldn’t get a vote anyway!

  25. mike fowle
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the comments about postal voting. Blair was such a constitutional vandal it will take years to make good what he damaged or destroyed, but there seems little understanding or will to do so.

  26. Mick
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    We micro-chip our pets and dater tag our belongings, I think it’s about time we had chips implanted into all UK citizens and forget about human rights, because I want a right to survive in my country without fear, it would make life a lot easier

  27. Cliff. Wokingham.
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    The elephant in the room is postal voting. This was brought in by Labour in a bid to get the “special groups” to take part in the democratic process however, we all know that most of these groups, in general terms, supported Labour and thus it was more political rather than anything to do with getting people involved in democracy.

    We are a household of disabled pensioners on a fixed income. Neither of us now drive and neither of us have passports because I cannot fly and neither of us can get affordable travel insurance and so, we have no official photo ID. We even have a similar problem when we have to supply ID to collect our dual fuel discount on our gas and electricity account card from our local Paypoint outlet.

    I just hope that Theresa “Remain” May is not trying to resurrect the EU ID card policy…..Perhaps that will be one of the conditions we’ll have to agree to when we remain in the EUSSR in one guise or another as I am sure we will.

    I have raised concerns with JR before about the way our local polling station writes the number from the register of each voter on the corner of the ballot paper. This in effect means that, in theory, someone could go through the ballot papers and see which party everyone voted for……I am assured that this wouldn’t happen so, that’s alright then isn’t it.
    I think that producing ID on the whole may be sensible but, like so many good ideas for our own benefit and our own good thought up by government, it could be open to abuse by the state.
    I am not sure that there is widespread fraud going on in our election system however, the one area that lends itself to being abused more than any other is postal voting; sort that out and I suspect the rest will take care of itself. I think that if we move towards a digital/online voting system, especially given government’s record in relation to I.T., we could well see fraud increase by a huge margin.

  28. Martyn G
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Surely a safeguard is already in place but not used. Every person on the electoral roll receives a voting paper with their address and a voters registration number. On it, it clearly states that there is no need to take or present it at the voting building.
    All that needs to be done – including postal voting – is to immediately change the Law so that it is mandatory for it to be presented at the voting registration desk and included along with the postal vote. No card, no vote, simple, surely?

  29. British Spy
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Utility bills are not a proof of ID. They are utility bills with a name and address on. All the electricity company cares about is if the bill gets paid or not. In multi-occupancies, you often get people moving in and out without a change of name going on a bill. The landlord or agent sometimes takes utility payments along with rent..whether that is legal or not, whether that is written on a rent card or not..whether there is rent card or not.

    The Labour and adLibber Parties should actually speak to the immigrants they use as virtue-signallers. I know several migrants who do not even have access to their own mail..The mail box is locked. The landlord has the key. They get mail when he chooses. This is the Country our government has built. No Jerusalem was not builded here.Whoever composed that hymn did it before the use of sat navs and maps

  30. rose
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    And about time too! The state has at last caught up with the clear-sighted and clear-speaking Lord Denning. Will you, Mr R, now campaign in Parliament and elsewhere for a posthumous pardon? It is long overdue.

  31. PaulDirac
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, warning, completely off subject.
    Reading in the NYT about the new “Europa” EU headquarters
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/27/world/europe/as-hopes-for-european-unity-dim-new-eu-headquarters-are-glowing.html?ref=europe&_r=0
    At a cost of $340M the “joyful” experience will buy them time, interestingly during WWII it “served as the headquarters for the German occupying forces during World War II.”

  32. Dead Sure
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    So the leading Party in charge of a local authority is in charge of hiring staff for its Electoral Department, appointing its boss and its deputy boss, keeping check on blank ballot papers, staffing the ballot stations, appointing counting supervisors and the persons counting.It is also historically against voters having to produce ID and can produce five reasons why it is not a good idea right out of the top of their heads.
    Falls down comatose at my keyboard in shock-horror-surprise @~~~¬<

  33. Simon Platt
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    I for one object to demands for “ID”. Our society used to be based on trust, and was better for it.

  34. Cheryl Hounslow
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    I feel annoyed that the British way of life is changing because of mass immigration – and though we live in a democracy we were not given the chance to vote on what I consider the most important question – whether we wanted our demographics to change so dramatically

  35. About time
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    At least one of the MPs in a Labour area coincidentally sent letters regarding education and what the Labour Party was doing about it ( positively) to recent 18 year olds in the Constituency just before the General Election inviting them to communicate directly.

    In the interests of fairness perhaps all candidates can be furnished with the names and addresses of 18-20 year olds or informed exactly where such information can be readily accessed and how not to need to put the mailing costs of letters on Electoral Expenses.

    Wellllll, I guess it is just part of the normal MP’s job to send such letters, and the Election was timing-wise a mere inconvenient coincidence as also with bringing of public works on council and previous council housing estates a few months forward regularly,
    every four to five years.

  36. Original Richard
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I have never understood why it has been possible to vote without either showing ID or at least the voting card.

    Also I have never liked how the polling station staff write a number on each voting slip such that it is possible to ascertain how each voter has voted.

    Why is this done and what about the fact that it makes a vote no longer secret ?

    Fraudulent postal voting is far easier than fraud at the polling station and so it is more likely to happen. It is unbelievable that the government is tackling the latter and not the former.

    BTW how is the government progressing with its program to reduce the number of muslim women who are unable to speak English ?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35342342

  37. a-tracy
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    There are plenty of jobs that take you away for a full day and overnight so you couldn’t vote, many on short notice rota to cover for emergencies air stewards, drivers, performers, engineers, forces personnel etc. I like to use a postal vote just personal preference but I would also go to a voting station if necessary whenever possible.

    There should be checks especially on students voting twice.

  38. Posty
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    It was the height of error of Yvette Cooper which she was justly criticised for on TV by someone from UKIP, as it happens,when in a studio discussion she stated that certain parties were “extreme right-wing.” UKIP and the BNP and a few other “extreme” parties and groups are not right-wing at all. They cannot be “extreme” in terms of illegality or promoting violence or they would be proscribed.

    Given that many members of these populist parties have served time in the Labour Party all over the country it is a bit rich. Many left because they came to the belief the Labour Party, irrespective of its political stances was wholly corrupt.Extremely corrupt! The Labour Party just loves postal voting.

  39. Anomaly
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    The anomaly of heavy Labour areas voting Leave in very large numbers has not been explained. Not half-way satisfactorily explained.

    Previously in local and national elections the voters were recorded persistently in voting Labour which they knew was for the EU enthusiastically, for unrelenting and uncontrolled immigration enthusiastically.

    What was difference from a technical aspect in the physical voting…polling stations, counts of votes, in the Referendum and in the national and local elections?

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      I suggest you study some of the British Election Study’s output on this. Their conclusion for this is summed up in two word – Tony Blair. (Actually, Tony Blair combined with the UK electoral system.)

      Blair knew, like the Tories, that the way to win elections in the UK is not to pile up votes in already safe seats as they deliver no additional MPs. It is all about the swing voters in the marginals, so that is where you focus your efforts, energies and policies. Those living in safe seats (like Wokingham and the Labour areas you refer to) get taken for granted. For those Labour areas you refer to that has meant 18 years being ignored under Thatcher and Major while going through de-industrialisation, 13 years being taken for granted by Blair and Brown, and then 6 years being ignored again under Cameron. I’ve lived in some of those areas and still visit a couple of them regularly. The UK is a radically different place once you go to some of these areas outside London and the South East. We do live in a divided country.

      Part of the solution to this is to have a system where everyone’s vote is worth using which can only be delivered by changing the voting system to a form of PR. I’m struggling to see why fraud under the current system is so exercising some people when most of us have votes which aren’t worth using anyway.

      • Anomaly
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Peter Parsons
        I have not made myself clear.
        Local elections took place in May 2016. They returned Labour candidates as per usual who campaigned on being IN the EU and NOT curbing immigration. One month later, the self-same voters voted OUT of the EU and YES to curbing immigration.
        Again, this is an anomaly of heavy Labour areas voting Leave in very large numbers which has not been explained. Not half-way satisfactorily explained.
        Therefore, again: What was difference from a technical aspect in the physical voting…polling stations, counts of votes, in the Referendum and in the national and local elections?

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted December 28, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          Simple – FPTP vs proper representative democracy (one where every vote counts). Changes in vote share don’t translate to changes in the outcome of elections when a drop in share of vote (as Labour experienced in the 2016 local elections) simply results in the same people being returned only with a smaller majority in areas where Labour are traditionally strong.

          That differs radically from a national referendum where every vote carried equal weight (unlike the case in local and national elections) with a campaign where a Conservative PM and Chancellor were telling people to vote Remain (if you were a died in the wool Labour voter would you have listened to Cameron and Osborne?) and Labour seemed to be mostly AWOL.

    • Whistle-sucker
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Some people bent on one Party will invariably vote for that Party. However, they will not vote for the Party if its views suddenly or even slowly are at total odds with the belief of the previously loyal voter. The first reaction is to not vote for anyone a all as the other parties are still undesirable.
      What happened in Labour areas was that they were logged as voting for Labour candidates in local and national elections held previously when that Party and those candidates were totally at loggerheads with their beliefs. The Referendum clearly showed how much they were at loggerheads.
      I read that, as possible voter fraud by way of the Counting and collection and distribution of blank ballot papers. Why? Because it is inconceivable so many people would be so LOYAL to vote for candidates who expressed opposite views to themselves then vote Leave in the referendum in a campaign led predominantly by the Tory party and right-wing groups and personalities openly Tory, openly anti-Labour.
      The difference in counting procedures is that in the referendum no Party in charge of election procedures could rely on any one of the counters, distributors of ballot papers etc etc to be loyal to the governing party. Anybody could spill the beans if something fraudulent would happen.Any one.
      Could it happen? I have worked with one person who once counted postal votes. I was of the Labour persuasion at the time and so were four other people around who knew the person for years. The person smiled and said they had moved non-Labour ballots into a Labour pile. I could not have proved it if I had reported it..not knowing the exact date or the specific election. The person was dishonest but was honest in my view to be telling the truth of her fraud. The Labour Party has a huge influence on who gets what job in local authorities.

      Reply When people voted Labour in local or national elections they were not considering the EU. When voting in the referendum they were. It was quite possible to vote Labour for the Council and then vote Leave

      • Whistle-sucker
        Posted December 29, 2016 at 12:38 am | Permalink

        Reply to Reply. In some cases, yes, possibly,but how many? Immigration? Even Labour MPs in local papers have stated time and again that whenever they go on the doorsteps canvassing that immigration was the voters’ top, first, priority. They still say so. It is written.

        Anyway,I do not accept the notion that voters in Labour areas are brain-dead in local and national elections. The Labour Party’s own research has concluded that the Labour pro-NHS stance did not work for the majority of possible voters. They, not me, found there was actually nothing to interest their voters except the immigration issue.It blanket-suffocated all other issues.
        There are people in my street and surroundings who have and had very close family relations with leading Labour figures. Surprisingly to some, they support locally and nationally something far more Eurosceptic than UKIP and your good self JR.
        There is a reason! It did not come naturally through some ignorant hatred. It is called aversion to Labour and abject feelings though not so precisely stated of utter betrayal by that gangster party.

  40. rose
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    As well as requiring ID I would like to see postal voting severely restricted. Voting is a very special privilege and something we are only allowed to do every five years or so. Surely the electorate can get itself dressed and down to the local polling station to put its cross in the right place? In other countries people queue for hours in the heat, having walked a long way. They value it.

    On the subject of constitutional tampering, I seem to remember we won the Referendum for First Past the Post. Yet in our Mayoral election, and our Police Commissioner election, both of which came in after that referendum was won, we don’t have FPTP but a Liberal system – so that they have a better chance of getting their man in. We should revert to FPTP and voting in person, with electoral registration forms being filled in by the voter.

  41. Iain Gill
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    If you are only just surviving on benefits you cannot afford a passport or driving license. It’s just a national ID card system by another method. The communities committing voter fraud are well known, it would be better clamping down on them than hassle everyone else.

    Another half baked politically correct avoidance of the blooming obvious

    • rose
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      As I understand it, they are just clamping down on them and not hassling everyone else. It is being called a pilot scheme. That is why there is such outrage from the usual quarters.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted December 29, 2016 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

        No they are hassling people from demographics known to have next to no voting fraud.

        Much like the large numbers of child rape known to be committed mostly by one demographic we don’t specifically target that demographic for PC reasons.

        When there is serious problem with one demographic we should target that demographic head on.

  42. Robert Christopher
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Is there a check made on how many postal votes are requested at each address?

    For a normal house, any more than four should be cause for investigation.

  43. vote challenged
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I have never lived in a Conservative Party location where the Tory vote is said to be weighed because they are so many. I have only resided in staunchly Labour domains. So maybe when any Party dominates it can get away with blue murder in the application of supposedly free and fair elections.
    The old joke which had quite a bit of truth in it, no absolute truth, went ” My grand father voted Labour, my dad voted Labour and I vote Labour. We’ve always voted Labour . We’re a Labour family.”

    It changed. I am not sure when exactly. It changed slowly at first. Then it speeded up. Then stopped. Then reversed. Then started again. I do not believe, now, the alleged nature of “Rock solid Labour constituencies” .

    Labour politicians are not trusted. It does not mean people are ready to vote Tory or for the Libdafts. They do toy with the idea , sometimes, of voting for UKIP or Greens. But I do not believe the validity of the published Labour vote for MPs and Councillors. Honestly, not one good word has been said by anyone about them, except if they are relations and even then they just do not bother to vote rather than vote against them. Voter fraud? Well something isn’t right! As I say, it might be just the same in Tory heartlands. A con.

  44. Prigger
    Posted December 29, 2016 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    On my travels in mostly the north of England I have discovered more than enough people..for reasons they did not always expand upon, did not ever vote. They said that “they” ( presumably people in power locally, nationally, perhaps even police..) “can find out who you voted for”. They were referring I guess, for my business was not conducting a political survey and I only listened out of respect until I could do my job ) was to the number of letters on each ballot paper identifying the voter for official purposes.

    Maybe, they were worried their uncle in power would know they did not vote for him but voted for his opponent. Perhaps they thought they would be put on a black-list of some kind with the ruling party in the locality. Perhaps they might have wished to vote for some revolutionary party or other and thought the police would put them on file at GCHQ or the actual places where covert operations are based. Who knows. They only explained they thought a vote should be truly secret.
    So, stopping or preventing people from voting in secret…and that is what the reference on a ballot shows,— is, in my book, in the full scheme of things: voter fraud. Institutional voter fraud.
    The Home Secretary, The Rt Hon Amber Rudd, should be congratulated for giving forewarning she is considering banning or, proscribing ( to use the posh word ) “extreme right-wing parties”. It tells people to avoid placing their names for the Home Office to grab from their ballot papers like some extreme left-wing parties have done all over the eastern Bloc and elsewhere. Their own Ministers of the Interior also gave forewarning. So Amber Rudd walks in the finest traditions of her class. Not only that, I noticed she is a woman. She may be the first woman in the whole of the world to ban freedom of speech and assembly. Well done! Now the boot is on the other foot, she can stamp on them. Most of them are men anyway.

  45. Cllr Bill Sha
    Posted December 29, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    John
    The ID scheme would be a good one indeed , but we also need to halt the fraud on nomination forms when any name from the electoral register is chosen and the form filled in with a false signature . As happened in Castle point . In the local,election last year .The police must pursue this as vigilantly as they do all other crimes . Seven false names on differing nomination forms are factual in Castle pOint yet still no charges brought against (anyone ed) who perpetrated athese frauds ….

  46. J laws
    Posted January 3, 2017 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    If I were unscrupulous enough there could easily be 3 people registered for a postal vote here – myself, my mother( deceased) and Timothy. the cat.Who would know?

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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