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Galloway calls for halt to postal ballots



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 city.

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."


 

April 2005

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