The Labour Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is demanding that the government fund a mass mail-out of postal voting forms ahead of May’s elections despite widespread public concerns about postal voting opening our democracy up to increased voter fraud.
Khan, whose four-year democratic mandate expired last May, called on the government “to launch a widespread public awareness campaign on postal vote registration [and] make further funding available to local authorities to send postal vote registration forms to every household.”
Further expansion of postal voting would fly in the face of UK government plans to tighten up British election security, with hard hitting new measures recently planned that would require voters to prove they are who they say they are by presenting ID at polling stations.
Major politicians from various political parties have condemned the expansion of postal voting in recent years, including Brexit icon Nigel Farage and top Tory MP Steve Baker.
Writing for PoliticsHome in 2019, Baker said: “There is widespread abuse of postal votes. In one case, private data held by a third party for legitimate purposes was used to apply for postal votes, and then intercepted before electors had a chance to complete them. The victims would not make a formal complaint as they feared retribution.”
He also highlighted a generalised issue with the voting method: “We cannot assume voters enjoy secrecy and freedom when marking a ballot paper at home. Only last week my agent reported to the Police evidence of the harvesting of postal votes.”
Widespread use of postal ballots in the United States last year led to significant public distrust in the outcome, despite strong efforts by social media firms and mainstream media outlets to suppress public criticism of the way voting was handled.
A stunning YouGov poll carried out in the wake of the presidential election showed that 75% of Americans thought fraud had taken place, including 62% of Joe Biden supporters. 81% of Republicans thought enough fraud had taken place to influence the outcome of the election, which saw former Vice President Joe Biden beat incumbent Donald Trump despite Trump managing to win more votes than any prior sitting president.
Responding to the controversy about last November’s American vote, Nigel Farage said: “The ridiculous postal voting system has contaminated British politics. It is now doing the same in America.”