Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Individual voter registration

There was a report yesterday on election standards from the Joseph Rowntree
Reform Trust. They found that the relaxation of postal voting requirements, while it may have increased voter turnout, has made the UK's electoral system as open to fraud as that in many third-world countries.

Postal vote fraud has not become a threat in Wales as yet (though it appears that some party activists in Neath Port Talbot - not LibDems, I hasten to add - have been over-keen in recruiting postal voters). However, if it continues to thrive in England, it could well spread here.

The Electoral Commission and the Commission on Standards in Public Life have both called for reform of the voter registration system, as have parliamentarians of all party allegiances.

Individual voter registration, and requiring a signature to get on the voting register, have lifted Northern Ireland from being a byword for electoral fraud to being the most honest electoral régime in the kingdom. The rest of the UK should follow their lead.

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