Jo has backed Unlock Democracy’s new campaign against voting fraud
The organisation Unlock Democracy has welcomed the support of local MP Jo Swinson as it launches a new campaign to Stamp Out Voting Fraud.
The campaign calls on the Government to introduce stricter electoral security measures, implemented in Northern Ireland six years ago, throughout the rest of the UK. Their calls for Individual Voter Registration have already gained support in Parliament from all parties, including from Jo Swinson.
“We can be proud in this country of our democracy, freedom and human rights, but we must also be vigilant to defend them when they are threatened. Voting fraud is something that simply cannot be tolerated in our democracy.
“Steps that have been taken to improve the security of elections in Northern Ireland should be rolled out across the rest of the UK – there is no reason for elections run outside Northern Ireland to be of a lower standard. The Government should correct this anomaly but is showing a frustrating unwillingness to act.
“Transparency and security at elections must be 100 percent. Anything less does serious damage to our political system in the eyes of the public. The Government owes it to voters in the UK to do everything it can to stamp out electoral fraud from our system.”
The Unlock Democracy campaign follows recent court cases on electoral fraud in Peterborough, Slough and Birmingham, where people were convicted of attempting to ‘rig’ the result of the election. The judge in the Birmingham case, Richard Mawrey QC, noted, “to ignore the probability that [electoral fraud] is widespread, particularly in local elections, is a policy that even an ostrich would despise.”
The Government has faced criticism in this area from variety of watchdogs such as the Electoral Commission, The Chairman of Standards in Public Life and the Council of Europe.
Deputy Director of Unlock Democracy, Alexandra Runswick, commented:
“The Government’s lax attitude on electoral fraud flies in the face of expert opinion. They recognise there is a problem, but have adopted a Through the Looking Glass, ‘jam tomorrow’ approach using the upcoming general election as an excuse to do nothing now.
“There are plenty of things the Government could be doing before the election. They have already acted in Northern Ireland with great success. At the very least it should publish a White Paper to spell out clearly what action needs to be taken in the rest of the UK. If they don’t take action now, there is a real danger that the necessary reforms won’t be ready in time for the election after next.”