Almost 20,000 voters in Bradford have ‘fallen off’ the electoral register after they failed to come forward and prove they were real. The new rules require anyone who wants to register to vote to fill out a form themselves, rather one person in the household completing the form for everyone.
Under the old rules householders could list anyone – real or not – on the electoral register with little chance of being caught. Before Postal Votes on demand were introduced by Labour anyone who wanted to vote multiple times would have to visit the same Polling Station multiple times.
At more recent elections fraudsters could fill homes with fake voters and register them all for postal votes. This avoided the need to ever see an Elections Officer face to face. The system also enabled ‘Family Voting’ where one person in the household would register everyone, opt for postal votes their behalf and fill them all out without their consent, a practice which is illegal.
The news of the fall in the population was attacked by the Green Party who claimed this would “disenfranchise” voters. However, under the system anyone who was paying tax or receiving benefits at an address were automatically registered. This accounted for 88 percent of people in Bradford.
The remaining 12 percent were written to, inviting them to register. Around 5 percent or 20,000 never replied, suggesting they may never have existed at all. Over ten percent of all electoral fraud allegations come from the City of Bradford according to the local Telegraph and Argus.
Bradford has long been home to political intrigue, one example is when the radical left-wing politician George Galloway came from nowhere to win the seat with a majority of over 10,000 in the 2012 by-election.