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Commission finds few vote frauds

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Only one person has been convicted of malpractice in last May’s elections, when nearly 30m votes were cast.

An Electoral Commission review of the integrity of the general and local elections on 6 May said 232 allegations of impropriety were reported to the police, none of which could have altered any result.

Of those, 137 required no further action, 68 are still under investigation, 23 were resolved by police advice, two led to cautions, one to an acquittal and one to conviction.

The most frequent allegations concerned impersonation of voters and tampering with ballot papers.

Commission chair Jenny Watson, said: “These figures do not support the more pessimistic perceptions: there’s no evidence of widespread attempts to commit electoral fraud, or of election results being called into question.” 

John Turner, chief executive of the Association of Electoral Administrators, said: “Measures have been taken to protect the integrity of the poll, and the government’s proposal to switch from household to individual registrations should make quite a dramatic difference, because if you manage to register improperly you are well on the way to being able to vote.”

Individual registration would require evidence of entitlement to vote from each voter, rather than a head of household registering everyone purporting to live with them.

The coalition has brought the start date forward by a year to 2014. “We have been told there will be extra resources for that but not yet how much,” Mr Turner said.

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