PROTECT IT AT THE MAY LOCAL ELECTIONS
A campaign to help prevent electoral fraud ahead of May’s local elections has been launched by Hyndburn Council with the support of the Electoral Commission and Crimestoppers, the independent crime reporting charity.
The impact of electoral fraud on voters can be significant. It takes away their right to vote as they want – whether through intimidation, bribery or by impersonating someone and casting their vote. “Your vote is yours alone” raises awareness of what constitutes unacceptable pressure to influence whether or how someone casts their vote.
Ahead of local elections in Hyndburn, Hyndburn Council will be running a social media campaign to empower electors not to become a victim of electoral fraud.
Jane Ellis, Returning Officer at Hyndburn Council said:
“Unfortunately, on rare occasions, some people may try to manipulate our electoral system and commit electoral fraud. Many people may not be aware that their actions constitute a crime. Your vote is yours alone and we are launching this campaign so that voters know what to do if they suspect they are a victim of electoral fraud.”
Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission, said:
“Whether you are voting in person at a polling station on 2 May or completing your postal vote at home, it’s important that your vote is yours alone. No one should feel pressured to vote a certain way. While proven cases of electoral fraud are rare, it remains a serious crime and those who commit it can be sentenced to time in prison.”
Mark Hallas, Chief Executive of the charity Crimestoppers, said:
“Anyone trying to unduly or illegally influence a ballot, is undermining the public’s trust in our democracy. The UK’s tradition of free and fair elections deserves protecting.
Should you know of someone breaking electoral law, please speak up and stop electoral fraud. If you feel uncomfortable contacting the police directly, then our charity is here 24/7 to listen and take your information. You will remain 100% anonymous. Always. Call 0800 555 111 or use our Anonymous Online Form.”
Anyone who thinks they have witnessed electoral fraud can call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org
The deadline to register to vote for Hyndburn local elections is Friday 12 April. If you are not already registered to vote, you can apply online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote