Laura Sharman 24 March 2017

Report shows rise in fraud related to voting offences

There were 260 reported cases of electoral fraud last year, according to a new report from the Electoral Commission.

The report shows that in 2016 the police prosecuted two cases, including a successfully elected local government candidate was sent to prison for two months after submitting a fraudulent electoral registration application and nomination form.

Another voter was found guilty of voting twice at the same polling station and was given community service of 300 hours.

A further six cases accepted police cautions, with another 40 cases currently under investigation.

The report shows there was an increase in the proportion of cases relating to voting offences, including personation at polling stations. There has been a drop in the number of cases of alleged electoral fraud which relate to electoral registration since 2010 though.

Ailsa Irvine, director of electoral administration and guidance at the Electoral Commission, said: ‘It is important that voters are confident that the police and prosecuting authorities take allegations of electoral fraud seriously.

The findings from our report show that significant sentences will be imposed when electoral law is broken, and that those responsible for electoral fraud can face jail.’

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