Saturday 8 May 2010

A recipe for fraud

One of the most shocking aspects of Thursday’s elections was the sight of hundreds, possibly thousands, of people denied their right to vote due to the archaic system we have been using since Victorian times. It is clearly no longer fit for purpose and must be completely overhauled before the next General Election which might only be a few months away.

The system is open to abuse. Postal votes, for example, can be sent to any address in the country rather than the registered address of the voter. Such a lax system allows a fraudster to receive someone else’s postal vote without their knowledge or consent. With the exception of our armed forces serving overseas, postal votes should only ever be sent to the voter’s registered address.

What is worse is that no identification is required for anyone turning up to vote at the polling station. You are asked for your name and address, but do not have to provide any proof of identity. Don’t Call Me Dave is not calling for ID Cards - far from it - but as the electoral roll is a public document, there is nothing to prevent a fraudster checking the details of electors and turning up to vote in their place. In the 21st Century, it surely cannot be beyond the wit of mankind to devise a ballot card containing a unique PIN known only to the elector?

It has been suggested in the media that voting should take place at weekends to allow more people the opportunity to vote and to help prevent bottlenecks at the polling station with a rush of electors after work. This is a very sensible idea and was first proposed some years ago by the Monster Raving Looney Party.

It is time to stop running elections for the convenience of the political parties and instead devise a safe, secure system that allows 100% of the people to vote 100% of the time.

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