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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Postal vote complacency

It is not just the UK Government who are complacent about the dangers of fraud in the postal voting process. The Welsh First Minister is also determined to play down the dangers. In the Assembly yesterday he asserted that "there is no evidence of any large-scale postal voting fraud in Wales." He may be right but there was no evidence in Birmingham either until John Hemming forced the matter into an election court.

Rhodri has, of course, missed the point. It is not the obvious presence of fraud that calls for action but the fact that the system is flawed, that fraud is relatively easy to perpetrate and that it has happened elsewhere. There need to be reforms to stop this happening again, in Wales or elsewhere.

In the meantime, John Hemming has unearthed another scandal around the use of postal votes in Birmingham in the last local Council elections - hundreds of unopened and uncounted postal votes from the 2004 local elections locked away in a small room in Birmingham Town Hall.
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