English council elections attract most electoral fraud reports

UK police data has revealed that English council elections attracted the most electoral fraud reports in 2016, twice as many as the EU referendum.

The figures indicated that of the 260 complaints made to police, 121 were about local government elections and 66 about the referendum. A successfully elected local government candidate was found guilty of submitting a fraudulent electoral registration application and nomination form, and was sentenced to two months in prison and disqualified from standing for election for five years.

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission, commented: “It is important that voters are confident that the police and prosecuting authorities take allegations of electoral fraud seriously. The findings from our report show that significant sentences will be imposed when electoral law is broken, and that those responsible for electoral fraud can face jail.

“Voters should be confident that they can report any concerns about electoral fraud. Anyone who has evidence that an electoral offence has been committed should contact the police immediately or report it anonymously through the Crimestoppers website or 0800 555 111.”

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