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Archive for April 23rd, 2012

There’s always been a something of a whiff about postal voting in Tower Hamlets, yet the council consistently tells us there isn’t a problem. They point to the lack of prosecutions and boast of their stringent controls.

It’s all media muck-raking, they insist, the latest being this piece in the Sunday Telegraph.

So what are we to make of the following information given by the council to regular commenter Grenville Mills. He had asked for a breakdown of the postal vote returns for last week’s by-election in Spitalfields and Banglatown, which was won by Lutfur Rahman’s candidate G(h)ulam Robbani by 43 votes. The anecdotal evidence posted as comments on this blog suggested that Robbani was way ahead on the early postal vote returns. I’ve no idea if that was true or not.

The council, of course, is not able to say how the postal votes broke down but what they did say was this: there were 1,418 postal ballots issued and 956 were returned, a rate of 67.4 per cent. Of the 956 returned, 135 were rejected, a rejection rate of 14.1 per cent.

And here is the council breakdown of the 135 rejected (apologies for the formatting: I haven’t got to grips yet with how to format tables in WordPress).

No signature

No date of birth

No sign & no DOB

Signature – No match

DOB – No Match

Sign & DOB – No match

Valid PVS/ No BP

BP/No PVS

0

1

5

72

30

17

7

3

So what I hope you can see is that there were 119 postal ballots returned which did not have the correct signature and/or date of birth.

Depending on how much coffee I’ve had, there are times when my signature does look different, so the council scrutineers could just be doing their job understandably strictly. However, 119 is a pretty high number.

And it might just be my lack of understanding of the process, but I would have thought it a pretty easy task to track down who supplied those ballots and investigate what happened.

But no doubt the council and the police will say they have more important things to deal with…

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