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Postal voting should be restricted due to fraud

(26 Posts)
Bookaboo Thu 08-Jun-17 13:01:46

Somebody told me today that as 2 of their family members hadn't sent off their postal votes, he picked them up, filled them in (voting for who he had chosen) and forged their signatures.
I'm absolutely gobsmacked that someone could do this and not see anything wrong with it.
I can't believe he was openly telling people what he'd done!
How much more of this is going on?

I'd like to see postal voting banned. Failing that it should at least be restricted to those who have disabilities.

PlymouthMaid1 Thu 08-Jun-17 13:03:59

I don't see why they can't have some sort of online system complete with a shedloads of passwords and safeguards. I wonder why people would bother to apply for a postal vote and then not use it.

honeysucklejasmine Thu 08-Jun-17 13:05:15

Just because you know a criminal doesn't mean I should have my right to postal vote removed.

llangennith Thu 08-Jun-17 13:10:30

I think it should be restricted.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Thu 08-Jun-17 13:11:05

To be honest I would like it all tightened up a bit. Couldn't find polling card (had awful few weeks), just turned up, gave my name and address and voted. Anyone knowing my name and address could turn up and vote before me. I know it is an offence but who would know, esp if you know they don't always vote.

MaryTheCanary Thu 08-Jun-17 13:12:19

An online system could possibly work, but only if it involved some kind of video link-up where an election officer actually watched you in person over video as you pressed the required keyboard keys, comparing your image to your photographic ID---to check that it was actually you and to check that nobody else in the room was watching you as you voted. The system would have to be set up so that other users of the computer would have no way of finding out how the voter had voted.

Passwords and so on would make no difference. The key problem with postal vote fraud is that you have situations where people with power (men, older family members, employers, landlords) are forcing people with less power (women, younger family members, employees and tenants) to vote in a way prescribed by the person in charge.

Theworldisfullofidiots Thu 08-Jun-17 13:12:34

Or even just because the amount of people unable to vote because they never received their postal vote.

LouiseBrooks Thu 08-Jun-17 13:13:58

I think it should be tightened up unless you have a good reason for not actually going to the polling station, ie will be away, are disabled, live too far away and can't walk there etc.

I have a close friend who always gets a postal vote because she thinks 10 minutes drive to the polling station is too far!

sashh Thu 08-Jun-17 13:14:33

Have you reported him?

MaryTheCanary Thu 08-Jun-17 13:14:35

OP, what your friend did was deeply fraudulent and he could get into very serious trouble if he was found out.

AlpacaLypse Thu 08-Jun-17 13:15:36

A few years ago there was a big push to getting people to sign up for postal voting. It included a change so that if you signed up for postal voting once, you'd be assumed to want to continue. I know some voters will always find it difficult to get to polling stations due to physical disability, but plenty of others only want a postal vote for a one off reason, because they're going to be away on polling day. I was shocked when I received my postal vote the time I needed one at how insecure it was.

Considering we trust computers with our tax, motor licencing, and banking, I have no problem in voting online going forward.

IAmNoMan Thu 08-Jun-17 13:16:45

*An online system could possibly work, but only if it involved some kind of video link-up where an election officer actually watched you in person over video as you pressed the required keyboard keys, comparing your image to your photographic ID---to check that it was actually you and to check that nobody else in the room was watching you as you voted. The system would have to be set up so that other users of the computer would have no way of finding out how the voter had voted.

Passwords and so on would make no difference. The key problem with postal vote fraud is that you have situations where people with power (men, older family members, employers, landlords) are forcing people with less power (women, younger family members, employees and tenants) to vote in a way prescribed by the person in charge.*

I disagree, the .gov website allows sensitive user specific processes such as tax returns and uses passport and national insurance data to validate. Probably more secure than in person and the technology is already there.

PlymouthMaid1 Thu 08-Jun-17 13:17:16

Good points Marycanary - I was just saying that on the fly as my daughter has missed out because of postal vote screw ups and there is no emergency plan which works because of of the slowness of the post.

Op - that was very criminal of him - I think I would report it.

Bookaboo Thu 08-Jun-17 13:20:47

I don't think anyone has a right to a postal vote honeysucklejasmine

A right to vote yes, but not a right to vote by post.

This is one example of fraud, it's hardly going to be an isolated incident.

In more organised fraud around postal votes, people add 'dummy' names to the register in order to obtain postal votes they can use.
The key problem with postal vote fraud is that you have situations where people with power (men, older family members, employers, landlords) are forcing people with less power (women, younger family members, employees and tenants) to vote in a way prescribed by the person in charge.

That as well mary.

lucydogz Thu 08-Jun-17 13:22:29

I strongly believe that postal votes should only be given in extreme circumstances (e'g' being disabled, or in the Armed Services posted abroad) The Chartists fought for the principle of the secret ballot and now it's been torn up. If people can't be bothered to get to there local polling station, they don't deserve a vote.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 08-Jun-17 13:27:16

I disagree, the .gov website allows sensitive user specific processes such as tax returns and uses passport and national insurance data to validate

Sure... it's a good, secure system...nevertheless, my DH kindly filled in my last tax return for me online because I was busier than him. Its not secure against people in the same household who have access to documents.

Ensuring that voters really do get their own private, uncoerced vote is a much more difficult issue.

Bookaboo Thu 08-Jun-17 13:27:27

I was astounded that he didn't even recognise what he'd done as being criminal!

The person is someone you would think of as being honest, they have a job where they need to be trustworthy etc...
Although I have to be blunt and say I think they might just be a bit thick.

I'd be worried about reporting them as I think it would be obvious it was me, because of the way I reacted.

IAmNoMan Thu 08-Jun-17 13:36:42

Sure... it's a good, secure system...nevertheless, my DH kindly filled in my last tax return for me online because I was busier than him. Its not secure against people in the same household who have access to documents.

Yes, but not less secure than unverified polling station voting. Also - you allowed that and your passport is yours to keep safe if not.

lucydogz Thu 08-Jun-17 13:44:33

all those who are OK about postal voting might want to read this

lucydogz Thu 08-Jun-17 13:49:51

It was Labour's bright idea to allow postal voting on demand, back in 2000. Being cynical, I believe it was to get the votes of strongly Asian areas, where women could, and were, coerced into told who to vote for.
Another link - here

MaryTheCanary Thu 08-Jun-17 14:11:48

"I disagree, the .gov website allows sensitive user specific processes such as tax returns and uses passport and national insurance data to validate"

Very easy for an overbearing husband or father to get hold of the necessary documents/information etc. Or landlords etc., who have been known to demand that tenants send them scanned images of their postal ballots to prove they voted for the "approved" choice. We need a secret ballot.

Problem is, the elderly also tend to like postal voting and the Tories won't do anything that pisses older voters off.

HateSummer Thu 08-Jun-17 14:19:17

lucydogz, so explain how the conservatives have won the last 2 elections? Where have all the labour voting "Asians" been the last 2 elections?

lucydogz Thu 08-Jun-17 15:07:15

I never said it suceeded.

gentleshouting Thu 08-Jun-17 15:35:02

I work away from my home town. I leave at 6 and return at 9:30/10 most nights. I can't vote unless it's a postal because the polling stations are shut when I'm there.

I think turnout would dramatically increase if we could get a secure online system to vote

lljkk Sat 10-Jun-17 17:17:44

Oh FFS, no system is perfect.

I'm wondering if the genuine postal voters were sitting there the whole while instructing the guy what to do. Still wrong, but a different level of wrong.

If he's that brazen about telling OP then surely he's told lots of people. So what if he knows you dobbed him in ? He deserves it.

Impressive this guy could adequately forge both signatures & knew both Dates of birth & had the brass to do such a thing AND have the naivete to tell OP AND had 2 relatives with idle postal votes lying around so easily accessed AND the genuine recipients didn't notice or do anything about it.

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