Voting: justice has to be seen to be done

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“We must be vigilant over fraud” was the one headline of wide-ranging articles written by Andrew Spencer and Peter Dewhurst on May 9th, reflecting the views of leading local politicians about a problem which has been festering for far too long. Tellingly, the articles stress certain parts of Pendle have been identified by the police and the Electoral Commission as high risk postal vote fraud areas.

This prompted me to quickly scan votes cast in the recent local election and one result jumped straight off the page.

It was Reedley where long-serving former Mayor Pauline McCormick’s 1,133 votes had been topped by Yasser Iqbal with 1,170 votes.

Informal inquiries seem to indicate 90% of votes cast in the most tamper-proof way at polling stations were cast in favour of Mrs McCormick. This leads to the obvious deduction that an even higher percentage of votes have been cast by the far less verifiable “postal” route.

The current system is leading us at large to believe a relatively recent and apparently seriously flawed system is being accepted as just one of those things.

In our modern society justice has to be seen to be done. The correct way in a just society would be for this particular election to be rerun under very strict supervision, otherwise the system and tellingly those who administer it are rightly or wrongly left under a cloud of disrepute.

Owen Oliver