Thursday, 22 May 2014

Reports of law breaking at polling stations

We haven't seen any reports of voter intimidation targeted at UKIP yet which was always going to be a risk with the recent escalation of the violence and intimidation against UKIP but there have been reports throughout the day of breaches of electoral law and Electoral Commission guidelines.

The reports seem to come primarily from London and the Breitbart London website has some particularly worrying findings of their own in Tower Hamlets where police have been stationed in every polling station in an attempt to clamp down on electoral fraud.

Tower Hamlets council have spent the last 3 months visiting homes with large numbers of postal voters registered and have removed over 5,000 people from the electoral register. The Returning Officer for Tower Hamlets has issued guidance that says no more than two tellers are allowed at any polling station and they must maintain their distance from the entrance. Breitbart London have found groups of Labour and Tower Hamlets First representatives congregating outside polling stations, stopping people from going in and telling them how they should vote. In one polling station they even found someone inside who claimed to be a volunteer helping the council wearing a Labour rosette and when they challenged polling station staff over it they were thrown out.

Across London and in some other places there have been reports of the bottom of ballot papers being tightly folded to hide UKIP. Some voters have complained to local UKIP representatives and this website that there was no option to vote UKIP on their ballot papers. UKIP is standing a full slate of candidates in every euroregion of the UK, every EU ballot paper has an entry for UKIP. This is exactly what happened in the 2009 EU elections when UKIP went as far as preparing a legal challenge to the result.