View Full Version : let's ban postal votes

Mr Optimistic
24th May 2014, 11:36
I am becoming convinced that postal votes are not secure. Let's ban them!

24th May 2014, 11:42
Why should security matter? I make no secret of the fact that I'm a Communist from Glasgow!

24th May 2014, 11:50
How does that differ from a normal vote? Almost anyone could turn up with your poll card and represent you.

24th May 2014, 11:54
There you are then, photo ids, the problems of a generation solved.

24th May 2014, 11:55
I am becoming convinced that postal votes are not secure. Let's ban them!Agreed! But then, when people go to the Polling Station that's not secure either because how can you be sure that the person voting is who they say they are... Let's ban voting at Polling Stations.

Although, we could have everyone microchipped and they get scanned at the Polling Station to ensure that they are who they say they are... And once you love Big Brother there will no longer be any need to vote!

Mr Optimistic
24th May 2014, 11:57
Because people have to turn up on the day. Not a concerted unseen campaign conducted over weeks.

Whoa 998 :)

24th May 2014, 12:09
Um...overseas voters?, or do you feel we should be disenfranchised?

24th May 2014, 12:10
I have a better idea.
Let's ban all votes and get rid of those crooked politicians.
Make Prince Charles an absolute monarch :ok:

24th May 2014, 12:14
How does that differ from a normal vote? Almost anyone could turn up with your poll card and represent you.It simply isn't the British way, but in our brave new world a significant proportion of the population don't subscribe to our old-fashioned British way of doing things. A polling card is sent to everyone registered at an address. Most people are honest, but you can register as many names as you wish at an address (within reason) and you'll be sent a polling card for each one. Organise that on a large scale and you can influence the outcome in any election ward with a low turnout.

I do "Telling" and while most folks are happy to tell you their poll number, some refuse. It's not private, so I just pop in and ask the returning officer. The main point of the procedure is to check that the number of votes counted matches the number of people who voted, but a secondary function is to check for people casting more than one vote. When it comes to postal votes, there is no way to check that all the people sending in a vote know that someone is voting for them, or indeed to determine if they actually exist.

24th May 2014, 12:23
Banning postal votes is tackling the symptom, not the cause.

Those Birmingham 2004 postal vote abusers in full:

Mohammed Islam, Labour
Muhammed Afzal, Labour
Mohammed Kazi, Labour
Shafaq Ahmed, Labour
Shah Jahan, Labour
Ayaz Khan, Labour

Anyone see a pattern here?

24th May 2014, 12:27
Um...overseas voters?, or do you feel we should be disenfranchised?

Having lived outside the UK for more than fifteen years, despite the fact that I pay UK income tax, I am disenfranchised, I am not allowed to vote in UK elections.

24th May 2014, 12:32
Having had to submit a postal vote once I went the website that deals with these things and found there were two ways I could make an application to receive ballot papers 1) electronically via the website and 2) manually via the postal service.

I did both.

1) The electronic application was directly to the Australian Electoral Commission. I provided all requirements as requested but received a rejection to my application without any explanation and a notice that I will be fined.

2) The manual postal application was sent to the local embassy. I provided all requirements as requested and the application was accepted and I was posted the ballot papers.

For some inexplicable reason I had a feeling the Australian Electoral Commission would do that which is why I did both.

Funniest thing come election day was the Australian embassy didn't bother opening which seemed to have upset a few expats.

Postal votes are alright, better than electronic voting methods which our local council once tried to mandate its use but thankfully failed. Ahh that reminds me, I still have their unpaid fine for not voting, along with rest of the electorate.

Mr Optimistic
24th May 2014, 12:42
Fox3, precisely. If you are away for years does it really matter if you miss your chance to vote in local elections?

24th May 2014, 12:48
. . . and it's not just postal voting that's open to manipulation. As I mentioned, not everyone who lives in Britain today follows the British tradition of fair play. Some have brought their own traditions with them . . .

Lutfur Rahman: an election Labour chose to lose ? Telegraph Blogs (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/andrewgilligan/100273000/lutfur-rahman-an-election-labour-chose-to-lose/)

24th May 2014, 13:11
Mr Optimistic - I became a Canadian citizen yesterday, so my only interest now in the UK is my state pension. I would transfer this out as well were it possible, but in future only intend voting where that pension is at stake. I have voted with my feet.

Mr Optimistic
24th May 2014, 14:14

24th May 2014, 14:22
I am becoming convinced that postal votes are not secure. Let's ban them!
I say we should have a vote.

24th May 2014, 14:30
So if postal votes are banned, all the thousands of people who live and work away from home in the week are to be denied representation?

A 140 mile round trip, in my case, to exercise my legal right, because elections are held midweek, is a bit much. Given that this is a forum aimed at pilots, there are no doubt plenty who weren't in the country, or their constituency for hours the polling stations were open.

Yes the corruption needs cleaning up, but a method which takes account of real world work practices is needed, and before you say 'proxy vote', that isn't the answer for many people.

barry lloyd
24th May 2014, 15:22
There is ample evidence that the postal vote is being used by a certain section of the community to swing the vote towards one of their own. It works like this - thanks Mr Blair!

Mary Ann Sieghart: How dodgy postal votes may decide our next government - Mary Ann Sieghart - Commentators - The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/mary-ann-sieghart/mary-ann-sieghart-how-dodgy-postal-votes-may-decide-our-next-government-7646617.html)

And it doesn't stop there. Police were deployed at Polling Stations across the UK yesterday to stop the same sectors of our community from influencing voters:

Police To Patrol More Than 100 Polling Stations (http://news.sky.com/story/1265690/police-to-patrol-more-than-100-polling-stations)

Mr Optimistic
24th May 2014, 18:07
Police To Patrol More Than 100 Polling Stations (http://news.sky.com/story/1265690/police-to-patrol-more-than-100-polling-stations)

Gertrude the Wombat
24th May 2014, 22:08
How does that differ from a normal vote? Almost anyone could turn up with your poll card and represent you.
Yes in theory, but it hardly ever happens in practice.

There are just too many people around a polling station who know too many of the local voters and could spot an imposter.

Postal votes can be bought and sold, unlike real votes in polling stations (well, until mobile phones could take pictures, that is, of course). Postal votes can be stolen from hallways in blocks of flats and shared houses. Postal votes for the family can be collected by the "head of the household" and cast as he/she sees fit.

These are all good reasons to go back to the previous system of needing a good excuse to be allowed a postal vote.

tony draper
24th May 2014, 22:21
The answer is simple if people are caught stealing votes hang the feckers.:)

24th May 2014, 22:31
I think a short prison sentence (30 days), a large fine and a permanent ban from any political activity should suffice. The ban should include the candidate.

24th May 2014, 22:41
On our small island (Stronsay, population 400) in Orkney we had a polling staion until a few years ago. The votes were collected when the polls closed at 10pm and taken by fast launch to mainland Orkney. Then the council decided to close the polling station and make it a postal vote.