Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Anyone for e-voting?

Saw this on the BBC:

Post votes down after fraud probe

More than 20,000 people have dropped off the register for postal votes in the wards in Birmingham at the centre of fraud allegations three years ago.
In Aston and Bordesley Green - both the focus of the investigation - the number of postal voters is down by 80%.

A High Court judge said the widespread vote-rigging which took place in the city's 2004 council elections would have "shamed a banana republic".

Figures seen by the BBC suggest the problem was worse than first thought.

In four other wards, where there were allegations of fraud at the time but no formal enquiry, more than half the postal voters have disappeared from the list.

Elsewhere in the city, the figures have remained about the same.

The numbers began to fall when West Midlands Police and the city council carried out an audit to check that existing voters knew they were registered.

They have continued to drop since the introduction of new computer checks.

Election commissioner Richard Mawrey QC upheld allegations of postal fraud relating to six seats won by Labour in the ballot of 10 June 2004.

Judge Mawrey said evidence of "massive, systematic and organised fraud" in the campaign had made a mockery of the election and ruled that not less than 1,500 votes had been cast fraudulently in the city.

One councillor was later cleared, on appeal, of corrupt practices, but five councillors had to stand down.

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