The High Court has been presented with expert evidence suggesting one in four postal ballots cast in the re-election of Mayor Lutfur Rahman in one ward in Tower Hamlets were completed by the same person. Robert Radley, senior consultant at the Radley Forensic Document Laboratory, examined ballot papers and postal voting slips to analyse handwriting and ink.
His report claimed “there appears to be a particular feature of note”, which was that many of the X marks had been extended and they were “shaky”. He claimed this was unusual, and as so many ballots were similar it is likely the same person filled them out.
Radley wrote: “These Xs are ‘shaky’, undulating, written slowly with care but laboured. Where the initial pen strokes fall short of a corner of the printed box, some show evidence of retouching: one of the legs of the X has been extended with a short line into the corner.
“Whilst I cannot identify a particular individual or a number of individuals as having written this large number of distinctive and idiosyncratic ‘X’ marks, their presence is worthy of note.”
He continued: “I have examined many hundreds of ballot papers in a variety of cases over the last 37 years. I do not recall this particular feature in such quantities in previous cases especially when one considers that this feature is found in approximately 25 per cent of the ballot papers for one ward in this particular case. For this to happen by chance would, in my opinion, have to be a very considerable coincidence.”
The Times reports that Mr Radley also looked at the ink used on the ballot papers, and concluded that many of them were the same formula. He wrote: “Bearing in mind that there are many thousands of black and blue ballpoint pen ink formulations, one can appreciate that for a substantial number of ballot papers to contain inks which cannot be differentiated from the extensive examinations undertaken, there has to be a very high level of coincidence for such numbers of indistinguishable inks to appear if, indeed, these ballot papers have been written with different pens in different households.”
Rahman’s election last year as Mayor is being challenged by four members of the public, who have put up their own money to have the result overturned. If they lose they will face financial ruin but claim they have brought the case to “fight for democracy to be returned to Tower Hamlets”.
The case was due to be heard in Tower Hamlets but the judge ruled the case had to be moved amidst concerns the witnesses would be intimidated. The petitioners claim the alleged electoral fraud was an orchestrated campaign led by Rahman and his supporters.
They want the election rerun and Rahman disbarred from public office. Evidence against him includes witness statements taken from Breitbart London staff who claim to have witnessed voter intimidation.