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Going Election Postal In Tower Hamlets

May 6, 2010

How much do I love Tower Hamlets right now?

We have Brick Lane! We have Victoria Park! We have Canary Wharf! And we have… vote fixing. Apparently. The police are currently investigating accusations of postal voting fraud in London and it appears that Tower Hamlets is top of the list.

There have been reports of so-called ‘ghost voters’ who have been registered on the electoral roll without the consent or knowledge of the people who live there. There have been allegations that some candidates and activists have offered to post ballots on behalf of vulnerable residents, or have ‘assisted’ residents in filling out the forms. The victims of this fraud have been some members of the Bangladeshi community who speak little English. In one instance, 18 postal votes were delivered to a house where only ten of the named people lived. In another, eight ‘ghost voters’ with Bangladeshi names were registered to a small flat where a non-Bangladeshi couple lived. The couple knew nothing about the extra ‘residents’ until they were contacted by a London paper. We seem to have form in this borough. In 2006, after the local elections, it transpired that 90 residents in a Limehouse block possibly had their votes stolen by fraudsters who applied for postal votes in their names and then got those papers redirected.

It’s truly wicked to use people in this way and it makes a mockery of an already fragile system. I’ve been so thoroughly hacked off by this that I seriously considered spoiling my ballot paper in protest, but I’ve been talked out of it. I will go out and vote, but I’ll always wonder if my new representative got there by fair means, or foul.

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4 comments

  1. One member of our household has been disenfranchised because the powers that be weren’t able to get their act together in time to sort out proxy voting. I was told they would ‘check through the huge amount of applications that had arrived too late to be registered’. ‘Too late’ being their way of blaming the voters. Someone else told me that their postal vote hadn’t arrived. Incompetent bureacracy as well as fraud trumps democracy.x


  2. Hi Pie, please add Stupidity to that list of Incompetent Bureaucracy and Fraud, I heard that some voters queued for several hours just to get into a polling station, and then, because they still were in the line when polling officially shut, they were not allowed to vote. Agghhhhhhh ! Dimwit officials! Surely some common sense could have prevailed? How hard can it be? at the moment that polling station officially closes, you park a heap of officials at the end of the queue, THEY mark the cut off point and tell people who arrive late, Sorry but you arrived after the polls are would have shut, you then apply the good faith principle to the rest ie)IF there hadn’t been a queue then they arrived, then they would have been early enough to have voted on time, and so you process only those people standing in the line BEFORE the cut off point.
    Simple, wouldn’t you think? Win win situation.
    Next time you folks in the UK need to ask for people with brains and a little flexible, sensible train of thought to run the polling stations… like Kiwidutch LOL 🙂
    .. actually we all need these qualities in our politicians too .. sadly it appears that politicians everywhere tend to slip once they start campaigning and once they are elected they tend to loose these qualities altogether. (grrr)


    • Hey, Kiwi! Nice to have you back. I know you’ve been on your travels lately. I hope you had a good time.

      Yes, there was the polling station disaster here in Blighty. I heard about it on the radio as the results of the election was being broadcast. I was as mystified as you were as to how it could’ve happened. Apparently there are now going to be enquiries. Perhaps you should parachute in and sort us out for the next election, which if this hung parliament doesn’t work, could be sooner than you think.



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