Dead Men Left

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Impending election fraud: bogus officials taking polling cards

Out canvassing yesterday evening. The door to a flat near Shadwell station was answered by a middle-aged Muslim woman, who said she would definitely vote Respect - as she had in the June elections - but was having problems with her registration. The polling cards sent to her address had the wrong names on them, as did the electoral register I was using to canvas. She had never heard of the two people supposedly living in her home, and claimed she had been living there herself for over ten years.

It was all very strange. Put me in mind of this story, on Monday:

A council block at the centre of vote-rigging allegations in Bethnal Green and Bow has been identified by the Evening Standard.

Residents of Wheler House in Spitalfields claim they have been visited by bogus election officials attempting to register false names at their addresses.

Fozor Bibi said she had handed over election papers to men who called at her flat claiming to be election officials.

She later discovered four men she had never heard of had been registered to vote at her property.

The Mail on Sunday reported this weekend (not online) of new registrations to vote being discovered at empty addresses in Bethnal Green. There is something insidious going on here. Word reaches me of a private poll being conducted in the constituency by a local government body putting Respect 0.5% ahead of New Labour; well within the margin of error, but also well within in the range at which election fraud starts to matter.

On a happier note, Respect is organising a procession starting from Liverpool Street station, 10.30am this Saturday, followed by canvassing across East London. Oona King claims she can get 400 canvassers over the weekend, and we know TGWU and UNISON full-timers have been out campaigning for New Labour. The stakes are high. Either we rebuild the left in Britain, or we have another four years of New Labour.