Allegations of electoral malpractice made to Council

Date published: 26 April 2011

Postal vote fraud complaints have been made to Rochdale Council by residents from six wards in the borough.

The Council has received information that groups of people are attempting to pressure voters into handing over postal votes which haven’t been completed.

The Leader of Rochdale Council, Councillor Colin Lambert, said: “I was informed late last week about the allegations. I will ask all political parties to fully co-operate.

“Hopefully, if the evidence is there, we will put a stop to this practice.”

It is understood that voters are being encouraged to sign their postal vote and then hand it over uncompleted.

Greater Manchester Police will meet with candidates and their agents tonight (Tuesday 26 April).

Councillor Lambert has urged people affected to contact the police.

A letter sent by RMBC Electoral Services, on 19 April, to candidates and agents reads:

There have been a number of reports of allegations of electoral fraud concerning postal voting made to the Returning Officer yesterday.

These included reports that party workers were visiting households to 'collect' postal votes, advising electors not to complete their votes themselves but that the party would collect them and then complete and return them on behalf of the elector and party workers telephoning electors and advising them how to vote and that they could collect their postal packs. 

The allegations were cross-party and from different wards of the borough.

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