Friday 16 May 2014

Police called in over Labour postal vote fraud complaint in Slough

The police have been called in to investigate postal vote fraud in Slough after a voter has claimed to have been pressured into voting for the Labour candidate.

A resident has told police that Labour candidate Fatima Mansoor stood over her while she filled in her postal vote, pressuring her into voting for her. Mansoor denies the claims and says that she was just advising her on how to fill in a postal vote and then took the sealed envelope and posted it for her.

Here's what the law says on postal votes, courtesy of the Electoral Commission. We'll leave you to make your mind up whether Mansoor has done anything wrong:

20. You should not touch or handle anyone else’s ballot paper. If you are asked for assistance in completing a ballot paper, you should always refer the voter to the Returning Officer’s staff at the elections office who can arrange a home visit if necessary. Assistance will also be available forelectors at polling stations.
21. It is absolutely clear that anyone acting on behalf of a party or campaign should not solicit the collection of any ballot paper. Wherever practical, the voter should be encouraged to post or deliver the completed ballot paper themselves.
22. It is recognised that people working for a party or a campaign may be approached by a voter who is unable to post their ballot paper or make arrangements for it to be returned in time. If you are asked to take the completed ballot paper, you should ensure that the voter has sealed it first and then post it or take it to a polling station or office of the Returning Officer immediately, without interfering in any way with the package.
23. If you are with a voter when they complete their ballot paper, remember they should complete it in secret. Equally, you should ensure that the voter seals the envelopes personally and immediately. If you are asked to give advice, it is acceptable and often helpful to explain the voting process but do not offer to help anyone to complete their ballot paper.
24. If you are in any doubt about the probity or propriety of your actions, you should ask yourself the question, ‘What would a reasonable observer think?’.