Friday, 2 June 2017

Rochdale Lib Dems report alleged fraud!

Northern Voices' publishes the statement below in full which has been circulated by the Rochdale Liberal Democrats.  The contents are self explanatory.  It is not the first time that questions have been raised about the conduct of elections in the Spotland ward in Rochdale.  Northern Voices recently has questioned the curious disappearance of a ballot box 'marked' register in the Spotland ward during the local authority elections in 2016.  As I write this last issue of the lost ballot box register in Spotland ward is the subject of a Freedom of Information request.

Lib Dems alleged postal vote fraud

June 1, 2017 9:49 PM
Rochdale Liberal Democrats have formally complained to Greater Manchester Police after claiming to have witnessed postal vote fraud in the Spotland area. Now they are warning the public who haven't yet voted by post to be on their watch. The complaint was made by Liberal Democrat member Dave Hennigan. He claims to have spotted 'at least' 10 completed postal votes in a white transit van on Edmund Street in the Spotland Ward of Rochdale Council.

Mr Hennigan said: "We had a big team out delivering our latest leaflet entitled 'You can change Rochdale's future', with a huge picture of Lib Dem candidate Andy Kelly and the Lib Dem bird on it. It was obvious who we were, and a white transit van with a huge Labour logo and a smaller Tony Lloyd sign stopped to say hello. It was only after a few seconds that I noticed at least ten completed postal votes on the passenger seat. When I pointed this out to the driver nearly ran over my foot - he was that desperate to get away. Postal vote fraud is unacceptable. Not now, not ever. I know the police are busy but we can't let anyone get away with it. Driving around in a van marked 'Labour' with a load of clearly visible postal votes is not on and the police should look into this."

Lib Dem Candidate, Councillor Andy Kelly immediately alerted the Council's Returning Officer Steve Rumbelow. Lib Dems then alerted District Commander for Rochdale Borough, Superintendent JP Ruffle. Councillor Kelly said: "In this election, every vote counts and I don't think it's right for a vehicle supporting any candidate should be driving around with multiple postal votes. Elections should be fair and free from intimidation. Every candidate has access to a postal vote list but postal voters shouldn't have their postal votes taken from them by politicians. If you have a postal vote and haven't yet cast your vote, then please be on your watch."

The particular area of Spotland was mired in electoral controversy last year when a 'marked' register went missing without adequate explanation. The marked register is a crucial tool in the fight against electoral fraud."

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