Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Beware the Banana Republic Postal Ballot

Valuable article from Craig Murray that highlights the weaknesses in the postal voting system. These weaknesses could easily be remedied and it raises suspicions that the system is allowed to be so insecure because the main parties are able to use these weaknesses to their advantage.

There can be little doubt that leading Tories were genuinely surprised that they won the last general election - in fact the budget that Osborne had prepared prior to the election was particularly extreme because, should the party manage to remain in power, it would only be in coalition again with the Lib/Dems. The budget was prepared as a negotiating instrument with the expectation of having to tone down many of the measures during coalition discussions.

In the event, much to the surprise of the pollsters, they won outright which does return the focus onto the unsatisfactory postal voting system. The most glaring example of the systems weakness concerns the counting of these votes - as CM explains:

"There is an electoral commission regulation which specifically facilitates postal ballot fraud. Postal ballots must be physically mixed in with other ballots before counting, so that it is impossible to tell if the postal ballot result differs markedly from the voting in person result. I can quite understand why they must be counted at the same time as other ballots, but physically mixed in?"

Clearly, not counting these votes separately does remove the obvious check on compatibility with the votes cast at polling stations. Suspicions must be further raised because, as far as I am aware, unlike previous years the percentage of votes cast through the postal voting system at each constituency has not been published. Leaving the possibility that in the fifty marginals that were to determine the overall result of the election - that the postal voting system was used to fix the result of the election and that the Tories should not be in government - at least not without a coalition partner.

This weakness may provide some comfort for those who want the 'Remain' campaign to be successful at the EU Referendum for it is likely that the 'Leave' campaigners will have to win by 5 - 10% to counteract the potential for corrupt postal votes.

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