By-election fraud allegations lead to calls for voting system change

By staff writers
November 15, 2009

After reports that police are investigating alleged voting fraud in the Glasgow North East by-election, a leading democracy group has called for reform of the system.

Matthew Oliver, from Unlock Democracy's 'Stamp Out Voting Fraud' Campaign said on 13 November 2009: "Here is yet another high profile example of why we need to reform the way we run elections in this country."

Oliver continued: "Our elections are currently run on faith, yet impersonation has been the largest type of electoral fraud in the last two sets of local elections. The Government has already solved this problem in Northern Ireland where voters are asked to prove their identity in the polling station before receiving their ballot"

He added: "We need to close these electoral loopholes quickly before the actual result of an election is brought into question."

Despite the success of this measure in Northern Ireland, the Government recently voted against such a proposal when passing the recent Political Parties and Elections Act.

Unlock Democracy is one of the UK's leading campaigns for democracy, rights and freedoms. It was formed in 2007 and is the successor organisation to Charter 88 and the New Politics Network.

Labour claimed a comfortable win in the by-election last week, in what is likely to be the Prime Minister Gordon Brown's final poll test before the general election in 2010.

Labour's candidate, Willie Bain, won almost three times as many votes as his closest rival from the Scottish National Party (SNP), to maintain the party's grip on its Glasgow North East stronghold in Scotland's biggest city.

Information on the 'Stamp Out Voting Fraud' campaign is available here:

See also: Power 2010:

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