It appears that after the election a new crime of postal electoral fraud will come on the statute book. It is incredible that at the moment it is not illegal to apply for a vote in someone else’s name. It is only vaguely illegal (and in reality almost impossible to prove) that someone has voted using someone else’s postal ballot. The reason I know? Because accidentally I’ve done it.

Well, actually I have done something even worse. In 1992, I voted twice. In two different constituencies. This revelation caused a brief discussion as to whether this was actually illegal or not. It strikes me that it must be, but then it would also strike me that it is illegal to apply for someone else’s postal vote so I may be wrong. Anyway I knew it was wrong but did it sue to a misguided sense of peer pressure. Namely I was registered at my University address automatically, and had not realised that my parents had also registered me at home (and truth be told I was home more than at Uni). So I put the application in for a postal ballot for Oxford in and voted Labour a good two weeks before the election. Then, shocked to find a polling card for me turn up, I thought little of it. Then on the day, after a swift pint at lunchtime, my friends decided to go and vote. I went with them, and, well I was registered wasn’t I?

Any sense of guilt I had (minor admittedly) was instantly wiped out by the actual election result. I know it was wrong but if I can do it due to peer pressure, then lord knows what people who actually have a lot invested in a result might do.

Blog 7