The Electoral Commission, which regulates election finance and sets standards for electoral processes, says, “Electoral fraud happens when someone has deliberately tried to cheat at an election”. That could involve:
- pretending to be someone else
- lying about a candidate
- making someone vote against their will
The Commission analysed cases of alleged electoral fraud in 2017 and found only one conviction, despite almost 45 million votes being cast. Nonetheless, this policy promises to “tackle every aspect of electoral fraud”.
- preventing intimidation and undue influence of voters
- ending postal vote harvesting
- piloting the use of ID in polling stations
In October 2019, the Queen’s Speech included this statement:
“My Government will take steps to protect the integrity of democracy and the electoral system in the United Kingdom.”
The briefing notes show that introducing voter ID and improving security around postal votes are significant features of the proposed electoral reform legislation.
It is likely that preparatory work on a bill is only just starting, now that it has a legislative slot. However, consultations and pilots of voter ID have taken place and the legislative process around electoral reform has begun. This one is ‘in progress’. We’ll keep tracking to see if a new law does indeed “tackle every aspect of electoral fraud”. Follow this policy to stay up to date.
Cover “every aspect” – get the details!
- Report electoral fraud – The Electoral Commission
- Analysis of cases of alleged electoral fraud in the UK in 2017 – The Electoral Commission
- Securing the ballot: Report of Sir Eric Pickles’ review into electoral fraud – Gov.uk
- A Democracy that Works for Everyone:A Clear and Secure Democracy Government response to Sir Eric Pickles’ review of electoral fraud – Gov.uk
- Investigation into the use of data analytics in political campaigns – Information Commissioner’s Office
- Leave.EU fined for multiple breaches of electoral law following investigation – Electoral Commission
- Electoral fraud data – Electoral Commission
- Campaign spending – Full Fact