18th Apr, 2019

Protect your vote is the message from Electoral Commission chiefs

Rob George 13th Apr, 2019

VOTERS in Worcester and Malvern are being encouraged to protect their vote ahead of May’s local elections in a campaign launched by the Electoral Commission in partnership with the Cabinet Office and Crimestoppers, the independent crime reporting charity.

The ‘Your vote is yours alone’ campaign aims to help voters understand the different types of electoral fraud offences which can take place in a polling station, or when completing a postal vote, and to empower people to protect their vote.

Bob Posner, chief executive of the Electoral Commission said: “Whether you are voting in person at a polling station or completing your postal vote at home, your vote is yours alone.

“No one should feel pressured to vote a certain way. Anyone who attempts to do this can be committing a serious crime, which may result in a prison sentence.

“We know voters can sometimes be unsure what electoral fraud is. Our campaign empowers voters to protect their vote. We encourage anyone with concerns to talk them through with Crimestoppers.

Minister for the Constitution Chloe Smith said: “The Government is committed to strengthening the integrity of our elections. The ‘Your Vote is Yours alone’ campaign is an important part of our work to give the public confidence that our democracy is secure. I encourage anyone who suspects electoral fraud to contact Crimestoppers”.

Mark Hallas, Chief Executive of the charity Crimestoppers, said: “It is only a tiny minority of people who try to jeopardise elections for personal gain. We must, however, stay alert to any suspicious behaviour as electoral fraud undermines people’s faith in democracy.

“By working together, we can all ensure that the UK’s democracy remains intact and I urge anyone with information to contact our charity so we can protect the integrity of our democratic process.”

Elections are taking place in 249 local authorities across England on May 2. Local authorities have been provided with resources – including videos, posters and a leaflet – which they can use in their local areas.

Anyone with any concerns about possible fraud should tell Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their online form which can be found at crimestoppers-uk.org.

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