POSTAL VOTING FRAUD Sandwell MBC Stuart Taylor Head of Counter Fraud Tony Brown ICT Auditor - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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POSTAL VOTING FRAUD Sandwell MBC Stuart Taylor Head of Counter Fraud Tony Brown ICT Auditor

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US Presidential Elections. Florida 2000. Types of Electoral Fraud. Wherever there is an election, there are always claims of electoral fraud ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: POSTAL VOTING FRAUD Sandwell MBC Stuart Taylor Head of Counter Fraud Tony Brown ICT Auditor


1
POSTAL VOTING - FRAUDSandwell MBCStuart Taylor
Head of Counter FraudTony Brown ICT Auditor
2
Introduction
  • History
  • Type of Fraud
  • Issues
  • Process
  • Summary

3
History of Electoral Fraud
  • Not a new thing
  • First recorded instance of fraud was in Athens
    (circa 470bc)
  • US Presidential Elections
  • Florida 2000

4
Types of Electoral Fraud
  • Wherever there is an election, there are always
    claims of electoral fraud
  • Voter Intimidation/Coercion
  • Tampering
  • Impersonation
  • Ghost Registration
  • Granny farming
  • Postal voting

5
Well known postal voting frauds
  • Zimbabwe
  • Nigeria
  • Slough
  • Birmingham

6
Bham Issues
  • Would disgrace a banana republic
  • The system is wide open to fraud and any would-be
    political fraudster knows that,
  • evidence of "massive, systematic and organised
    fraud" in the campaign had made a mockery of the
    election and ruled that not less than 1,500 votes
    had been cast fraudulently in the city.

7
Bham Issues (2)
  • Bin bags full of postal votes
  • Widespread theft of postal votes

8
Slough Issues
  • The only reason it came to light was the
    incompetence of the fraudsters and the blatant
    nature of the frauds
  • Pre-registering of ghost voters
  • Despite the 2006 Act, the opportunities for easy
    and effective electoral fraud remain
    substantially as they were on 4 April, 2005.

9
PV Here to Stay
  • Sam Younger, chairman of the Electoral
    Commission, said the electoral system would
    continue to be "open to abuse" until the voter
    registration system is changed.
  • He said it was "not realistic" to take postal
    votes away from voters if they want to use them.

10
Facts and Figures
  • SMBC
  • Total Population (Voting) - gt200,000
  • No. of postal votes (requested) 21,000
  • 10 of people and expected to rise

11
Why is there Fraud
  • Close elections
  • Cost of failing
  • Prestige
  • Fear of losing

12
Audit Involvement
  • Or lack thereof
  • Like many, postal voting was probably not an
    issue for Internal Audit
  • Three years ago, not even on the Audit horizon,
    let alone the audit plan?

13
Why Did SMBC Audit PV?
  • For reasons of openness and transparency
  • Importance of having strong and robust procedures
    in place
  • Electoral confidence
  • Or more simply asked by our Head of Governance

14
How
  • Went on online and researched
  • www.electoralcommission.gov.uk
  • Spoke to Head of Governance and Election Managers

15
PV Process
  • Electoral Commission Guidelines
  • Application to vote
  • Statement of Identity
  • Vote itself

16
Process
  • Main stages
  • Postal Voting count (3-5 days before election
    night)
  • Polling station visits
  • Evening Count

17
Each Stage
  • At each stage, simple checklist was this
    happening, was that happening
  • Strict instructions not to interfere audit have
    no power in elections

18
Elections Staff
  • Close links with election staff
  • Respond to queries
  • Visits to properties

19
Postal Voting Count
  • Attendance at each of the sessions
  • Simple checklist
  • Computer System
  • Always wear an official badge

20
Sample Checklist (Extract)
21
Polling Stations
  • Random visit to polling stations
  • Standard checklist

22
Sample Checklist (Extract)
  • There is a packet clearly labelled as containing
    postal votes available
  • The packet is sufficient to take a large number
    of postal votes (Should be just a standard
    envelope)
  • The number of the polling station is clearly
    marked on this
  • It should be capable of being properly sealed and
    secured at the close of poll
  • The Presiding Officer is recording on a suitable
    form the number of postal votes handed in
  • There is a log or form for the Presiding Officer
    to record the details of electors who attend a
    polling station and are marked as being an absent
    voter, but who claim not to have applied for a
    postal or proxy vote (take the example log
    provided by the Electoral Commission and compare)
  • The postal votes are being kept in a separate and
    secure area

23
Official Count
  • Attendance on the night
  • High profile
  • Verify procedures

24
Official Count (2)
  • But remember
  • Pressurised situation especially later on
  • Dont interfere
  • Unless its important comment the following day

25
Report
  • Standard audit report, finding, recommendations
    etc
  • Action plan
  • Reviewed after 6 months for implementation

26
Issues Raised
  • CCTV
  • Uncertainty
  • Consistency
  • Experienced presiding officers

27
Problems
  • Lack of authority
  • PV can be sent to any address

28
Going Forward
  • PV on thematic risk register
  • On audits annual plan
  • NFI Matching of Electoral Register with Council
    Tax (if it ever happens)

29
Summary
  • Based on Electoral Commission guidelines
  • No power
  • Close relations with Election Staff

30
  • No questions please otherwise well all have to
    stay later than we want too
  • Thank You
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