Postal voting is open to fraud on an “industrial scale” and is “unviable” in its current form, a top judge has said. Richard Mawrey QC, who tries cases of electoral fraud, told the BBC that people should not be able to apply for postal votes as a matter of course. “On demand” postal voting had not boosted turnout or simplified the process for the vulnerable, he said. But the Electoral Commission said it would not be “proportionate” to end postal voting altogether. The government also said it had no plans to abolish the current system, saying it had made it easier for many people to vote.
Since 2001, anyone on the electoral roll has been able to apply for a postal ballot.
In January, the Electoral Commission said it was particularly concerned about 16 council areas in England.
In some of those areas, the BBC has heard allegations that political activists are pressuring families into voting for their candidate, or taking ballot papers away to fill them in, which is illegal.