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Pendle Council to take part in Electoral Integrity pilot

Published: Wednesday, 26th September 2018

Pendle Council will run an Electoral Integrity pilot at the May 2019 elections when voters will elect borough, parish and town councillors.

At last night’s Council meeting (25 September), councillors voted to accept an invitation from the Cabinet Office to run the pilot.

It will tackle concerns about postal and proxy voting alongside producing photo ID at polling stations.

Councillor Paul White, Leader of Pendle Council, said: “We’re pleased that the Cabinet Office agreed to our proposal for a wide-ranging pilot.

“This means that we can help combat well documented concerns around fraudulent behaviour in relation to postal and proxy voting in Pendle, something I’ve been committed to doing.

“It will also introduce voters to the Government’s proposed new requirement of producing photo ID when you vote at a polling stations – something we know is controversial.

“But protecting the integrity of the ballot, which people died for, should be our number one priority.”

Philip Mousdale, Corporate Director and Returning Officer, explained that during the pilot a number of checks will be introduced to confirm the identity of who is voting.

He said: “When residents go to the polling stations to vote in person, or as a proxy, they’ll first have to show photo ID.

“But we’ll also be looking at alternative arrangements to certify identity where a registered voter does not have satisfactory photo ID.

“And we’ll be providing more information to postal voters and carrying out random checks to ensure that they did vote themselves and there was no fraud or undue pressure put on them.”

Pendle Council will be working with the Cabinet Office to agree the exact format of the pilots and will provide full information to voters nearer the time.