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Letter: Postal Voting Rules Should Be Tightened

Published on: 24 May, 2016
Updated on: 24 May, 2016

Postal VoteFrom Stuart Barnes

One topic that, as far as I know, has not been discussed recently which is relevant to both the forthcoming EU referendum and elections generally is the well known problem of the manipulation of postal voting.

There have been several examples in this country in recent years and the reversal of the results of the personal voting in the Austrian presidential election, by a very surprising postal count, must make people query whether everything was above board.

Surely it is time that the rules for the obtaining of a postal vote need to be tightened?

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Responses to Letter: Postal Voting Rules Should Be Tightened

  1. George Potter Reply

    May 24, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    The manipulation of postal votes is a problem, but one which has been addressed by the introduction of individual, annual voter registration to replace the old system where the “head of household” was responsible for registering everyone else in the household for life and specifying what kind of ballots they should have.

    In Austria, the decision was not “reversed” by postal votes. There were many Austrians, predominantly expats and people otherwise out of the country on election day, who voted by post.

    The fact that this group tended to be dominated by higher educated voters who were significantly less likely to vote for the far-right candidate does not mean, for a moment, that there was anything suspicious about the result.

    Only those who might want to disenfranchise as many people as possible would regard voting by post as some sort of conspiracy against democracy.

  2. John Perkins Reply

    May 25, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    George Potter would have us believe that he can easily explain the result of an election in a foreign country when others have found it difficult. I am not convinced by his arguments.

    In the past he has shown a patronising attitude toward pensioners and a patronising one toward Germans. By suggesting that Austrians residing in their own country must be uneducated and do not know how to vote, and that those outside are the clever ones, he succeeds in displaying both attributes toward them.

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