Fears of mass election fraud after hundreds of students are illegally registered to vote as Tories call for probe – The Sun
FEARS of mass election fraud were growing last night after worried parents said their student sons and daughters are being illegally registered without their knowledge all over the country.
The Sun yesterday revealed that Labour-controlled Plymouth Council broke the law by registering 850 students without their permission.
That included 247 17-year-olds, who are too young to vote.
But it emerged tonight that the shady practice that Tories think is a bid to boost the leftwing vote could be taking place nationwide.
Multiple reports were made to The Sun today by concerned parents.
They said their offspring had been sent polling cards out of the blue at their addresses in university towns all over England, despite never requesting to vote there.
They included Lancaster, Nottingham and Hendon in North London – each the location of close marginal fights between Labour and the Tories.
Tory chairman James Cleverly last night called on the Electoral Commission to begin a nationwide probe to discover how widespread the illegal practice is.
Only individuals can register themselves to vote under a law change in 2014 to halt voter fraud and intimidation.
Mr Clevery told The Sun: “This raises extremely serious questions about the integrity of our system and apparent lack of checks and balances to ensure those registering to vote are doing so of their own accord.
“I am calling on the authorities to launch a full investigation into this immediately.
“Democracy begins and ends with trust in our electoral system. It is vital that we get to the bottom of these very concerning allegations, before that trust is eroded any further.”
Some Tory candidates last night questioned whether Labour councils were working in cahoots with universities.
Democracy begins and ends with trust in our electoral system. It is vital that we get to the bottom of these very concerning allegations, before that trust is eroded any further.
It emerged that some unis and colleges have a standing arrangement with councils to pass on the names and details of all students living in their accommodation who qualify for council tax exemption.
The secret registrations could also be a breach of data protection laws as a full name, date of birth, National Insurance number and a postal address are all needed to get on the electoral roll.
TORIES LOSING SEATS
Tory MP-turned-candidate David Morris, who looked into voter registration during a Commons probe, added: “This has been happening for some while. I am of the firm belief that there are irregularities going on all over university towns.
“We have lost Conservative seats in 2017 because of it, and Canterbury was one of them.”
One furious dad, Rob Kilby from Luton, revealed: “My daughter is at uni in London, never registered at her uni address but surprise surprise got a polling card delivered as well as one at our home address.
“It’s an absolute disgrace. Her uni is in Hendon, which has a slim Conservative majority of only a 1,000…strange that.”
The Electoral Commission said last night that they are “disappointed” with Plymouth City Council and are in contact with its officials to clean up their electoral register.
But it has so far found no evidence of illegal mass registrations elsewhere.
A commission spokesman said: “It’s vital that electors and those taking part in elections have confidence that the register is accurate and complete, and we will be working closely with the Council to fully understand and address the issues that have been identified.
“We’re not aware of people being added to the electoral register without their consent anywhere else in the country.
“We’ve been in contact with the electoral services teams in Barnet and Lancaster who have told us that no voters have been added to the register without their consent.”
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