Salma Yaqoob: abolish postal votes to cut fraud

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Salma Yaqoob (Birmingham Respect party activist) is calling for the postal vote to be abolished in order to cut out the electoral fraud which plagued recent elections in areas of the UK with high Muslim populations; the fraud was aimed at stopping people voting for other than the “community’s candidate”, which often meant Labour, at a time when many youth did not want to vote Labour due to the Iraq war. She rightly says that it removes the privacy that the voting booth provides by exposing one’s vote to family scrutiny (and, as also happened, allowing unscrupulous activists to get hold of many people’s votes before it even reaches their houses). To be fair, activists of the other two parties have been associated with dishonest postal vote practices also.

I don’t agree with abolishing the postal vote altogether, though - it should be restricted to those with a need, such as the disabled, those too sick to get to the polling station, or their carers.

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