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Monday, April 04, 2005

Fraud at election?

A judge has apparently ruled that there was widespread fraud in local elections in Birmingham last year, via the vehicle of the postal ballot. Given that seats in Parliament can sometimes be decided by extraordinarily thin margins - a few seats are usually won by margins of less than 100 votes, and iirc in the 1992 election on seat was decided by a margin of only 9 votes - the possibility of fraud effecting the upcoming election seems perilously high. The government has stuck its head in the sand about this - all-postal voting is something they have been pressing.

Since I happen to live in one of those seats that could be decided by a thin margin with a majority of 235 votes this is an evident concern. While I believe (certainly I hope) that the national parties are completely against fraud in word and deed, I am less optimistic about all the candidates. Some people will do anything to win, especially when there is no effective system in place to prevent such fraud. Some people mocked the State of Florida in 2000, but we need to weed out our own garden before we start commenting on theirs.

(BBC article)

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