Sunday, 29 April 2012

Galloway won 75% of the postal vote in the recent Bradford by-election.
"We are totally against postal voting on demand. Postal votes used to be something you got when you literally could not get to the polls; now they're available on demand and, once granted, are yours for ever. So large numbers of postal votes are delivered to places where the person no longer is. Large numbers of them are collected, unfilled-in, by these biradari chiefs," an Urdu word meaning clan seniors. "It's a kind of ritual that they bring votes to the candidate to show them: "Look, I'm bringing in 20 votes; that's 20 votes for you – I'm bringing that in.'" How can he be so sure?

"Well, I know it because they offered to do it to me. Yeah, and I said: 'I don't want to see anybody's vote, and I don't want you to see anybody's vote.' Now, I don't know that they filled them in, rather than the voter, but it's a fair inference; it's a fair inference if someone has got 20 votes in their pocket to take to the town hall, that they were either visibly observing the person filling the vote in – which is wrong, and I think illegal – or filled them in themselves. This happens in Asian areas on a widespread basis, and it is the antithesis of democracy." Does he think some of his own votes came that way? "It's possible, because people offered to show me other people's votes. So I redouble my call for postal voting on demand to be scrapped."
Source: Guardian

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