Postal balloting must be disallowed if the
forthcoming General Election is to be fair, the Respect MP George Galloway said
today. This follows the verdict in the case of electoral fraud in Birmingham, in
which a judge declared the results in six local wards void and ordered the
elections to be re-run.
"When Tony Blair has his audience with the Queen to announce the election he
should also be pledging that votes by post - and fraud by letter - is not part
of the process," Galloway said. "The verdict in the Birmingham cases is a
devastating indictment of the postal balloting process and anyone with half a
brain - or any potential fraudster knows - that the system is wide-open to
abuse. It's inevitable that there will be widespread fraud in this election
which will make the Florida chad controversy look like an insignificant ripple
and cast serious doubt on the outcome."
In his Birmingham judgment Judge Mawrey said that there had been evidence of
"massive, systematic and organised fraud" in the local election campaign which
had made a mockery of the election and ruled that not less than 1,500 votes had
been cast fraudulently in the city. Fraud by Labour was proved in six wards in
The deputy high court judge said the system was "hopelessly insecure" and
expressed regret that recent warnings about the failings had been dismissed by
the government as "scaremongering". He criticised the government's insistence
that the current postal voting system was working, adding: "Anybody who has sat
through the case I have just tried and listened to evidence of electoral fraud
that would disgrace a banana republic would find this statement surprising."
Galloway added: "Respect is calling on all the other parties, other than the
governing one, to demand that this travesty of democracy is ended, at least
until proper safeguards can be put in place. This is a cross-party issue. Postal
balloting should be limited to the infirm or those that are abroad at the time
of the election, not given as a licence for Labour Party crooks to sabotage the
will of the people."
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