A LibDem councillor (and parliamentary candidate) represented by a former Tory MP went to court asking for the current postal voting setup to be declared “incompatible” with our human rights laws as the “free expression of the will of the people” would be denied.
It was a brave move and those behind this should be congratulated for trying to make a stand. Unfortunately the judge felt that the plaintiff had not actually been the victim of fraud yet so could not come to the courts. If after the election fraud was thought to have occurred legal remedies exist, or so the judge thought. A shame but an understandable outcome. BBC News report
I must say I'm surprised that they didn't go in with the secret ballot angle which is also in the human rights legislation and postal ballots plainly breach secrecy. I quote:
ARTICLE 3: RIGHT TO FREE ELECTIONS The High Contracting Parties undertake to hold free elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot, under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature.
– Human Rights Act 1998 Part II The First Protocol
Free elections are a bit hard to pin down legally but the secret ballot is fundamentally important and very clear to define. Does anyone know why this wasn't the approach taken in the courts? Am I missing something?