The Times reports today that the UK will be investigated by the Council of Europe for electoral fraud and alleged breaches of human rights. The announcement currently relates specifically to postal vote related fraud particularly the aftermath of the infamous Birmingham postal vote fraud case which caused Labour serious embarrassment and lead to outspoken comments from presiding Judge Richard Mawrey:
“Anybody who has sat through the case I have just tried and listened to evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic would find [government assurances about postal voting] surprising” (Source: BBC)
Postal voting is extremely problematic, particularly when an election is all-postal. However electronic voting creates the opportunities for fraud on a much wider scale whilst being considerably harder to detect. Additionally remote electronic voting continues to breach human rights treaties demanding a secret ballot. So, given yesterday's announcement of pilots in 2007, I hope this investigation is widened to include electronic voting.
(Thanks to Ian Brown for the tip-off)