Sonya Porter, Rodney Atkinson
A version of this article, by Sonya Porter, appeared at UKIP Daily www.ukipdaily.com
Given the nearly 50 year history of lies, deceit and manipulation of the British people by the political class many are naturally concerned that the UK’s EU referendum on 23rd June will be rigged.
In recent years – since the Labour Government introduced unlimited postal voting – many have been convicted of vote rigging. Therefore it is vital that everyone involved in vote counting, monitoring, scrutinising and of course voting in this referendum should 1. be aware of the rules and how they are sometimes broken 2. alert to all officials and how they conduct the poll. 3. Ensure there is no manipulation of the postal vote, especially at the count.
The Government permitted gross manipulation of the postal vote at the Welsh Devolution referendum where the postal vote made the difference. The North east voted against am assembly but now the Government is imposing (by bribery) an elected Mayor. Such is the history of recent “democratic” elections in the UK.
Although it is supposed to give a balanced view on whether the country should Remain or Leave the EU, The Government has spent some £9 million of voters’ money on a booklet which favours the Remain side and says little about the benefits of Britain living as an independent country in control of its own affairs.
Even the leaflet put out by the Electoral Commission is psychologically skewed. The Remain argument appears on the favoured left hand page with large blue print, red sub-headings and family photos, leaving the less frequently read right hand side with small print and no photos to the case for leaving the EU.
The Electoral Commission has had to act to stop the mailing of voting cards to EU citizens in the UK – who CANNOT vote. The claim that they have stopped this and that a polling card does not give the right to vote – only the name of the electoral register – let us hope they have the right register i.e. NOT the one of EU elections!
Despite the daily dose of scaremongering the Great British Public are now coming down firmly for “Leave” BUT it will still all come down to what happens on the day of the Referendum, 23rd June 2016, which will be as important to England as the 14th October 1066 (the Norman Conquest).
So what should the Brexiteers beware of?
As the Austrians are apparently beginning to realise after their recent election, the most likely method of fraud will be through the postal vote. The postal vote, counted at the end (!) managed to overturn a 4% lead by the Freedom Party candidate.
Until the Representation of the People Act 2000 the categories of people who could use a postal vote in an election were restricted and mainly included those resident abroad and those who were unable to vote in person due to disability. But as from 16th February 2001, this was changed to allow postal voting on demand. No reason need now be given by the voters applying for them.
There are various problems here.
For instance, voting lists for an area can be increased to an extraordinary extent with far too people apparently living in one small flat or house — the London Borough of Tower Hamlets is one example where thousands of ‘eligible’ voters suddenly appeared on the electoral roll just before the last two General Elections.
Another worry is who exactly is completing the form — it could be anyone at the given address. Who knows?
Also, just where the postal votes are kept before the Counting, and can they be tampered with?
Then we come to the Count itself and this will not be conducted in the same way as a By-Election or General Election where the votes are counted immediately after the doors are closed and the result usually announced that night — although in the last few elections, the boxes are kept overnight and the vote not counted until the following morning which can create suspicions of fraud.
According to the Electoral Commission, the total of a local count will be passed to their Regional Counting Officer (RCO) who, if satisfied that they are accurate, will approve the figures.
More time is then needed for the Regional Officer to relay the regional total to the Chief Counting Officer (CCO) for approval and only after this the RCO will make a declaration of the regional total. Bear in mind that there will be 382 counting areas:
326 local authorities in England
32 unitary authorities in Scotland
22 unitary authorities in Wales
The final two counting areas will be Northern Ireland and Gibraltar.
And all this checking, passing on, checking again will take some time and pass through several hands so it cannot be said with absolute certainty that all is secure. We just have to hope that some officials will not ‘revise’ the final figures. Hopefully, our local council and their staff can be trusted with the local counts and it is also hoped that the auditors will find no errors or frauds after the local counts. But, for instance, one sub-agent at the General Election of 2015 discovered that after their verification, the votes were returned to the boxes and the boxes sealed with small pieces of plastic. He then found that there were many spare seals so that it might be possible to undo the boxes and later reseal them which would leave them open to tampering.
Then there are the exit polls to consider. Bearing in mind that the pre-election polls’ statistics have varied a great deal and give the impression of having been manipulated by the Remain camp, perhaps the exit polls might also be viewed with caution.
Additionally, Electoral Commission has recently issued a brief which states that once declared, the national result will be final but not legally binding. According to the European Referendum Act 2015, there are no provisions to implement the result of the referendum and so although unlikely, legally, the Government is not bound to follow the outcome of the referendum.
It was also the Electoral Commission which decided that it would be the ‘Vote Leave’ group’ lead by Boris Johnson, which would head the Out campaign in preference to ‘Go — Grassroots Out’, the cross-party group headed by Nigel Farage, Leader of the UK Independence Party, who therefore does not have to be invited to appear in the media during the Leave Campaign.
So all democrats must look out. And the Leave Campaign must beware:
1. Unusual numbers of postal votes per house must be discounted or checked physically.
2. Postal votes: after the polls close –
Number issued declared
Number cast declared
Votes Counted and the postal result declared
3. Then the count of the non postal vote to begin as per normal – locked rooms,
Number issued declared
Number cast declared
Counted and the result declared
If there is a large discrepancy between the result of the postal and cast votes, the postal votes must be scrutinised by both sides. Individual voters must be selectively contacted and their vote declared.
This is the only way that we can remove the incentive to gerrymander the result using postal ballots. Any region where the postal ballot is found to have been doctored must result in the electoral officer being jailed.