original system of the secret ballot you could only fill out
your vote in a secure polling booth in a private cubicle and
yours are the only pair of hands to handle it before your put it
in the ballot box. This secret ballot system made voting
fraud more difficult:
system of the secret ballot could no longer protect your
vote 100% once postal votes became votes of convenience and
not proven need.
Why postal voting does not protect your vote:
You do not
fill out or handle in secret and post it yourself
It will pass
through up to 12 pairs of hands in the post
It can be
delayed in the post until after polling day
It can be
opened in transit, and spoiled
It can be in
danger from corrupt scrutiny by adverse officials
It is more in
danger in a 'marginal' seat
You can be
pressured if infirm, old, sick or migrant
You have no
guarantee they ever go into a ballot box
papers can be copied illegally for false names.
Postal voting is
an open door to fraud.
100% postal voting
in union elections has notoriously created an open door,
hence a happy hunting ground for voting manipulation and
fraud. 100% failure to enforce the letter of the law in
parliamentary elections - no reason, no postal vote - has
subverted the principle of the secret ballot.
especially marginals should be decided by a secret ballot.
enforce the postal voting law in parliamentary elections is
electoral fraud does not represent a problem
understand how such fraud is committed
the means to police the system
authorities that proof of fraud would rebound on them
staffing to do the necessary checking.
This failure means
postal voting is now effectively postal voting on demand.
Failure to believe that electoral fraud represents a
This failure has
been famously exposed in the Judgement of 4th April, 2005 by
Election Commissioner, Richard Mawrey QC, in a local
government election in 2 wards of Birmingham Council, United
Kingdom, on 10th June 2004.
parties welcome and supported postal voting on demand. Until
very recently no one has treated electoral fraud as
presenting a problem... the tendency of politicians of all
Parties has been to dismiss these warnings as
'In the course of
preparing my judgement, my attention was drawn to what I am
told is an official government statement about postal voting
which I hope I quote correctly, "There are no proposals to
change the rules governing election procedures for the next
election, including those for postal voting. The systems
already in place to deal with the allegations of electoral
fraud are clearly working.
'Anybody who has
sat through the case I have just tried and listened to
evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana
republic, would find this statement surprising. To
assert that: 'The systems already in place to deal with the
allegations of electoral fraud are clearly working'
indicates a state not simply of complacency but of denial.
'The systems to
deal with fraud are not working well. They are not working
badly. The fact is there are no systems to deal
realistically with fraud and there never have been. Until
there are fraud will continue unabated (Judgement 'Fraud at
the Elections, p.35).'
Does this powerful
judgement have implications for Australia? Yes.
Mawrey QC found that postal voting fraud in the Bordesley
Green and Aston Wards of the Birmingham City Council had
been committed by the Labour Party candidates by 14
This was only
discovered because the rival Liberal Democratic candidates
had carried out a thorough investigation before, not after,