Postal Voting

Monday, April 04, 2005

Birmingham case - the blogosphere reacts

There's some comment on the electoral court decision in the political blogosphere - the consensus (whether Labour or not) has been that the elections concerned were fraudulent and the guilty parties punished. Eric the Unread questions the very need for postal voting for the healthy and able-bodied, and makes an excellent point in that an unreliable ballot could lead to less participation, with the electorate thinking "It ain't worth voting because they fix the elections anyway".

Meanwhile, Nick Barlow tells us to make sure the Labour General Secretary, Mike Griffiths, is kept informed of any infringements by Labour candidates at forthcoming elections, which is a splendid idea. For reference (from the Labour Party directory), he can be contacted by phone at: 01234 351 521 or via email at: mikegriffiths@gpmu.org.uk.

Unfortunately, the Harry's Place post on the topic results in a set of comments that degenerates into an argument about racism. Although race is a sensitive issue, especially in this case with all (or at least some) of the candidates involved being Asian and Muslim, we must remember that the postal ballot, being easy to forge and not at all private, aids in the disenfranchisement of ethnic minority voters. Jumping to false conclusions when ethnic minority candidates are elected, without any evidence to back allegations is of course uitterly wrong, but neither should not pussyfoot around when there is firm suspicion of fraud.

I am still trying to find a full copy of the report online, but neither Birmingham City Council, the Electoral Commission or the Government News Network have published it yet.

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