Friday, September 19, 2014

Scotland : Where Do all The "Secret" Ballots Go from Scottish Referendum ? Scottish Referendum : Sign Petition Against Voter Fraud



Democracy and Class Struggle publish this for information has not many people are made aware of these practices of the British State.

UNDER the Representation of the People Act 1983 the Returning Officer, usually a senior official of the local council, has to ensure that all ballot papers, counterfoils and the polling clerks’ marked copies of the electoral register are safely deposited with the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery (a senior officer of the Lord Chancellor’s Department).

This is so that if any corrupt or illegal election practices are reported the appropriate documents are available for inspection. All such documents are supposed to be officially sealed so that there is no chance of interference by any party and, according to the 1983 act, the seal can only be broken by the order of the High Court or Parliament itself.

In practice ballot papers are simply bundled-up into paper sacks and transported to a warehouse in Hayes, Middlesex, for the statutory period of one year and one day.

Following the 1987 general election, I reported on the disposal of the 7,000 sacks of this ‘low-grade confidential waste’ for a national newspaper.

The papers were transported by truck from the Hayes warehouse to be incinerated in the North London Waste Authority plant at Enfield. During that process we witnessed dozens of sacks splitting and many hundreds of spent ballot papers spilling for all to see.

This adds weight to the conspiracy theory that security around the election documents is very lax, and that the vote-tracing procedure has been used to identify people voting for fringe candidates.

Votes can be traced by matching the numbered ballot paper to its similarly numbered counterfoil; the numbered counterfoil also bears the voter’s registration number from the electoral register which is hand-written by the Polling Clerk when the ballot paper is issued.

As all the ballot papers for each candidate – including fringe candidates such as Sinn Fein, communists, fascists, nationalists, etc. – are bundled together, anyone having access to those documents can speedily trace the name and address of every voter for such candidates if they wish.

In 1981 Gordon Winter – a former agent of BOSS, the South African Secret Service – writing in his book, Inside Boss, claimed that the South African government knew the identity of everyone who voted for the Communist Party of Great Britain – thanks to British intelligence using this simple vote-tracing procedure.

In any event, the notion that we have a secret vote is very misleading.

One positive outcome of the 1987 general election, however, was that the incineration of 91 tons of ballot papers contributed to the 21 megawatts per hour output of the North London Waste Authority plant, which supplies electricity to Tottenham.

David Northmore, Author of The Freedom Of Information Handbook, London W1.

I DO NOT know what happens to the voting slips for Conservative candidates, after they have been counted, but in the mid-1960s those for communists were tallied against their counterfoils in the ballot books (just like cheque books) and those who had had the temerity to vote for a communist were identified from the electoral roll. Their names were forwarded to Special Branch and to MI5, almost certainly as a matter of routine. The source for this information was a good one. He was a postgraduate student doing his doctoral research on local government in a Midlands steel town where he was attached to the town clerk's department. One day he opened a cupboard, looking for some documents, and found instead a large number of ballot slips, all of which were marked in favour of a communist candidate in the local elections. The town clerk returned and found the student with the slips and told him (knowing the student's safely right-wing views) that it was one of his regular chores to forward the names of communist voters to the Special Branch. As the town had a strong communist tradition it was a recurrent task for the town clerk and the slips had been put to one side until he had time to deal with them. The then student (my informant) saw nothing wrong with this procedure - which made his account the more believable.

Michael Wilson, Thame, Oxon


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